Bruno David is pleased to present Amaryllis Land, an exhibition by St. Louis-based artist Leslie Laskey. This will be Laskey’s thirteen exhibition with the gallery. In conjunction with the exhibition, Bruno David Gallery Publications will publish a catalogue of the works with an exhibition history and bibliography.
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.
Leslie Laskey studied at Indiana University and at the Institute of Design in Chicago (now the Illinois Institute of Technology) with founder and American Bauhaus pioneer Lászlò Moholy-Nagy. Currently, he divides his time between St. Louis, MO and Manistee, MI. He is a Professor Emeritus of Architecture at the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis.