Leslie Wilkes: Face Blind, Generator, Albuquerque, NM

Leslie Wilkes, 10.06 (gouache study), 2010
Gouache on paper
12 x 12 inches

March 5 – April 9, 2011

For her second solo exhibition in New Mexico Leslie Wilkes elevates the scale of her dense, psychedelic gouaches, expanding them into a series of new large-scale oil paintings. Reflecting her life-long interest in pattern and bright color, the paintings are initially based largely on geometric patterns from the 1960’s. In the process of painting, Wilkes explores innumerable compositions until a particular element evokes a response of recognition. Face blindness refers to the disorder called Prosopagnosia in which a person is unable to recognize and distinguish the various comparative features of a face. Exploring the interplay between states of reading and interpreting an image that is delicately balanced in tension between abstraction and anthropomorphic facial recognition has been Wilkes’s basic motivation in her most recent work.

Born in Monroe, Georgia, Leslie Wilkes received a BA from the University of Texas and MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has had solo exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Fe, Chicago, Austin and Marfa, Texas. Most recently she was included in the exhibition 12 Abstractions at the Barry Whistler Gallery in Dallas. She attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and was the recipient of the Milton and Sally Avery Fellowship Award at the MacDowell Colony. Wilkes currently lives and works in Marfa, Texas.