Leslie Roberts, ASSURANCES, 2014-15
Acrylic gouache, graphite, ink, colored pencil on gessoed panel
20 x 16 inches / 51 x 41 cm
September 10 – October 29, 2016
Opening: Saturday, September 10, 6-8pm
MINUS SPACE is excited to present Leslie Roberts: FYEO, the Brooklyn-based artist’s first solo exhibition of new paintings at the gallery. Roberts’ works translate found, quotidian language into abstract, patterned structures, which she refers to as “illuminated manuscripts of the everyday.”
Leslie Roberts’ paintings present a hybrid of handwritten words and geometric color pattern that interpret the relentless flow of information in which we find ourselves immersed on a daily basis. Roberts is an acute observer of the world and she takes copious notes about her findings, which she then translates and transcribes into columns of handwritten words and phrases in her paintings. Individual words stem from fragmented, divergent sources such as instructions, guarantees, regulations, warnings, receipts, end user licensing agreements, junk mail, subways ads, road signs, street names, tree species, and much more.
Working in acrylic gouache, ink, and pencil on slender, whitewashed panels, Roberts methodically, yet intuitively, assigns specific colors and forms to individual words. The words are then mapped out as lines and shapes onto gridded X and Y axes forming lush, wavering geometric configurations. In some paintings, the text is coded in multiple ways, resulting in layered systems yielding “crystalline structures, linear networks, and other abstract dialects.”
Roberts intends her paintings to be both seen and read with the encoded texts functioning as a deeply resonant fine print. For Roberts, the paintings are “collections of ambient language used to derive an intensely visual abstract vernacular.”
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Leslie Roberts (b. 1957, Goldsboro, North Carolina; lives Brooklyn, New York) has exhibited her work in solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States for the past 25 years, including at Art in General, Brooklyn Museum, Bruce High Quality Foundation, Dam Stuhltrager Gallery, Davidson Contemporary, Eyewash Gallery, Hallwalls, Holiday Gallery, Janet Kurnatowski Gallery, Lyons Wier Gallery, Pierogi Gallery, PPOW Gallery, Rotunda Gallery, Sideshow Gallery, Swiss Institute, Weatherspoon Art Gallery, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, among many others.
Roberts has received awards from Ragdale and Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, where many of the works in this exhibition were conceived and produced, as well as Pratt Institute, Yaddo, Yale, and Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture. Her work has been discussed in publications such as Artforum, The Brooklyn Rail, dArt International, NY Arts Magazine, Sculpture Magazine, and TimeOut London. Roberts is a professor at Pratt Institute, where she teaches Foundation Light, Color and Design. She holds an MFA from Queens College and a BA from Yale University.