Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Bruno David Gallery: Satuerday, 18 January 2020

LESLIE LASKEY: Amaryllis Land
RYAN ECKERT: This is Romance
DAMON FREED: Structure and Void
ANDREA STANISLAV New Media Room: Blow Away
KELLEY JOHNSON Window on Forsyth: Sculpture

Opening Reception Saturday, January 18. 6-8 pm
January 18 – February 22, 2020

Leslie Laskey’s latest series Amaryllis Land is an experimentation of form, color, and medium that seeks to discover how the same object can make many individual statements. The flowers he draws, and paints are not just that; Leslie compares the movement of the petals to dancers on a stage, a stage he crafts through geometric shapes carefully laid out in naturalistic shades of oil paint. Some paintings feature a single flower, large and central, paying close attention to the beauty of the individual form, while his larger collages make use of ripped paper layered together to mimic the formation of petals. The arrangement of each element works together to create a story or a feeling that the flowers are talking amongst themselves within their frames.

This work began several years ago in Leslie’s own garden when he became intrigued with the fallen Amaryllis flowers and the marks they left on the ground. Using the flower itself as a mark-making tool he applies the color and organic material directly to his canvas or paper, creating surfaces that are both natural and full of motion while simultaneously controlled and contemplative. The soft pink and red shades left by the crushed petals direct Leslie’s color palette; muted blues and greens are punctuated by bright reds as he builds different visual environments and relationships within each piece.

With an expansive background in design, Leslie will often start his process by identifying a problem to solve or question to answer. In this series he asks, “How many ways can I describe the things I love?” He does so by not only gracefully depicting the Amaryllis, but also by exploring the larger context in which these forms relate to the world surrounding him.

(The name Amaryllis is taken from a shepherdess in Virgil's pastoral Eclogues, (from the Greek ἀμαρύσσω (amarysso), meaning "to sparkle") and from "Amarella" for the bitterness of the bulb.)

Structure and Void isexhibition by Missouri-based artist Damon Freed. “There are two things I know about in this world, and this is the need for structure and void. The world needs structure currently. With so much tumultuous activity politically we need structure. So, I have provided it within these works. But also, void space. The resilience of space. The epic spaces in between lush with color, weeping colors. Without structure one cannot perceive the void.
It begins with structure and ends in voids, my paintings do. A void. A softened space. Yet, a gesture lingers for miles. A simple gesture of the brush. For miles and miles within it might resonate. My gesture… a simple gesture. And it is present in these works.

So, all in all, these paintings are about color, structure, void, and gesture. Their vibe is subtle to me, yet strict in its design. Most of the paintings begin guided by an inner inspiration that comes to me, a visualization of form. From there, I begin to write it down. I sometimes work on a blank sheet of paper but at other times on graph paper. I like the grid, it pleases me. Structure is necessary when building my paintings. When graphing the visuals. I have inspirations mostly in color. It is always about depicting the inspiration as closely as I can!

You see, in this way it is not me, not my hand guiding what comes to mind, only my will drawing it out. So, yes, it is me. But something else is part of the process, something unknown. And I think this spirit is where it’s at. That part, the spirit of the work is what it’s all about, to me. A softened tone at most times, in recent days.”

This Is Romance isan exhibition of new works on paper by Ryan Eckert. Ryan Eckert’s paintings explore the relationship between self and his surroundings. Flowers are reoccurring motifs in his work that become figurative with a sense of longing and searching. His paintings display a range of physical beauty that Ryan compares to the impulsive beauty of life’s temptations as well as its overwhelming joys. Each painting is on an individual journey that spans different stages of life, from birth to death and finally ascension. Ryan Eckert’s work is a journal where every page is left open, describing a personal life of faith and spirit, which, though tainted by his own inner desires and ambitions, culminates in a warm, peaceful acceptance of salvation.

Imagination and intuition are at the forefront of Ryan’s paintings. Imagery is not planned through preliminary sketches or concrete ideas; rather, each work begins simply with the foundation of a basic color palette, though that rarely carries through to the finished piece. Ryan Eckert’s use of vibrant colors, patterns, and electric brushwork leave a visual history within the piece. The paintings evolve moment-by-moment and are ultimately a reactive process that leaves the result to chance. Each unexpected, accidental, and uncontrollable imperfection of the painting is fully exposed. The paint feels visceral. Although the process leaves tangible traces, the genesis of many nuances remains both mysterious and ambiguous.

Blow Away (2008) is a video work by Andréa Stanislav, in the New Media Room. Highlighting Stanislav’s sustained work in mirrored sculpture, the film shows a dramatic explosion of mirrored obelisks on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. This film also provides valuable context for the artist’s long-standing engagement with natural history. For a moment the obelisks line in harmony with the horizon line before they are obliterated into Hollywood fantasy, dialing into the present: the decline of the American Empire, complicit in its history of manifest destiny with the resulting disruption of nature.

A sculpture by Kelley Johnson is on view live in the gallery’s vitrine space Window on Forsyth

Public Hours Tuesday - Friday 11 - 6 pm, Saturday 11 - 5 pm and open by appointment. Closed Sundays and Mondays.

Bruno David Gallery
7513 Forsyth Boulevard
Saint Louis, MO 63105 (free parking)


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