- Current Work
- PressCambridge Artist receives Gottlieb Grant April 11, 2011, CAMBRIDGE, NEW YORK Artist Leslie Parke has recently been awarded a $25,000 Individual Support Grant from the Adolph & Esther Gottlieb Foundation of New York, honoring her extensive career as a professional painter. This grant is awarded each year to twelve artists worldwide who have devoted their lives to developing their art and have maintained a mature intellectual, technical and creative artistic development for a minimum of 20 years. “Making art is a way for me to both experience and comment on exiting art,” says Parke. “My early work was all about appropriation, working with images from Matisse, Ingres and Giotto. Now art historical references are just the filter through which I see the world.” In her current series, Parke creates abstract compositions from real subject matter, drawn from life. Her subjects – water, trees, crystal, china, recycled bales of paper and cans – become vehicles for shape, color, space and light. She employs monumental scale, all-over composition, and gestures that assert the surface of the painting. Painted in oil on linen or canvas, some as large as 60? x 70?, her paintings,…
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Most of my Facebook friends are artists. As I scrolled through their posts this summer, I found that I was most drawn to work of modest means, that I felt had a monumental impact. Three of these artists are Lori Ellison, Wilma Vissers and Paul Pagk.
Lori Ellison has been singled out by Roberta Smith, so my observation of this work is in no way unique. What I like in particular is the way Ellison creates her pieces on common paper or school grade notebooks. She is immediately tempting you to compare her work to doodles, and not the doodles of a great artist, but the doodles of a student. The mastery in her work occurs on many levels, not the least of which, is to not fall into any doodling cliches. This is not Zentangle, after all.
And her work echoes eloquently the work of past maters, as in this piece inspired by Matisse — or this one that brings Brice Marden to mind.
The rigor of Ellison’s simplicity, is what I admire. I love how her work engages me in the process. They almost beg you to try to imitate them — and perhaps it is precisely in this process of putting pen to paper, that you begin to feel her decision making, her clear and precise choices — how the image sits on the page, how it relates to the edge, how it interacts with the lines on the page.
These drawings have an impact that is emotionally complex and visually exciting.
Wilma Vissers’ drawing are ones that I come back to over and over. They are often executed in drawing notebooks and I have come to feel that the middle fold of the page is very much a part of the composition.
In fact, before I figured out that they were in notebooks, I thought she was purposefully folding the page to create a line from the fold and something that signaled a reverse side, a second part or a mirror image. She sometimes has a solid shape with a hairy line.
She has built a vocabulary that is strangely compelling.
Vissers drawings are either studies or a separate work from the objects she creates. The objects or wall pieces to me appear to come from the tradition of Richard Tuttle. Each object made in a unique material. Frequently small, the odd bits have a feeling of rightness, an inevitability that I also see is Tuttle;s work.
Paul Pagk decided to post a series of drawing and studies from a few years ago. To me these are moments of pleasure. Each piece seemed to celebrate a line, a shape or a color.
In this piece, I was taken by his use of blue. It made me think of Matisse’s blue cutouts and Diebenkorn’s use of blue. After scrolling through his drawings my response was, “Damn, I wish I did that.”