Jack Shainman Gallery is pleased to present Rags, an exhibition of new works by Leslie Wayne. Continuing with her masterfully tactile and sculptural use of oil paint, Wayne transforms her material into crests and valleys of lush pigment by slowly amassing layer upon layer in a unique process that she has developed and fine-tuned over the last decade. This new body of work takes a recognizable, self-reflexive form, the studio staple of the paint rag, to explore the depths of the medium in formally exciting ways while occupying the charged border between abstraction and representation.
Referencing the commonplace and utilitarian, Wayne transforms the paint rag into a miniaturized edifice while maintaining the gravity of the material and its inevitable behavior. In the exhibition’s accompanying catalogue, David Pagel writes, “these three-dimensional paintings are category-straddling mongrels in love with a kind of fugitive formalism and a sort of renegade realism, both of which invite visitors to reconsider established interpretations of these ordinarily opposed approaches to, and understandings of, art’s purposes and priorities.”
Each rag lays amenably as if draped on at least one point protruding from the wall. However, the works simultaneously appear to throb and vibrate with hue and sultry richness concentrated in their condensed scale. Wayne employs a kind of representational abstraction that seduces the eye into a reinterpretation of the material, as well as the subject itself.