Leslie Shows (BFA, 1999) recently spoke of a desire to “make work that is so secret from myself that I would be seduced into making it.” In a series of sculptural paintings commissioned for this exhibition, Shows’ striking materials—engraved aluminum, synthetic rubber, cut Plexiglas, silk, and digitally printed sand—appear as just-formed thoughts.
Shows’ new works further dissolve previous imagery akin to abstractions of pyrite, or glaciers, to crawl out of, and back into, the landscape. Her works vary in scale, from picture-sized to room- scale installations, and shiver in light. They evoke the unknown, and are particularly unknowable. Even as they slip from your grasp, one is compelled to learn their vocabulary. Yet the paintings don’t arrive at an end—they are rather happening to themselves, and becoming together.
The same could be said of our Earth, and human complicity within it, and Shows’ work effectively shifts geologic timescales to a sensuous, urgent state.
About the Artist
Leslie Shows received her BFA from SFAI in 1999, and her MFA from California College of the Arts in 2006. She has presented solo exhibitions at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art; Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha; Haines Gallery and Jack Hanley Gallery, both in San Francisco; and in group shows at the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, and the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center. leslieshows.com
About the Winifred Johnson Clive Foundation
Distinguished Painting Fellowship
The Clive Foundation Fellowship supports visiting artists working at the leading edge of contemporary painting practices. The Fellowship offers student-artists opportunities for deep engagement with internationally recognized painters. During the 2015–2016 academic year, four artists will work directly with student-artists through critiques, discussion, workshops, public lectures, and this exhibition.
This project was made possible in part by Headlands Center for the Arts.
Leslie Shows, Coupler, 2014, Ink, acrylic, Plexiglas, synthetic rubber, wood, and aluminum, 42 x 33 inches, Courtesy of the artist and Haines Gallery, San Francisco