Leslie Roberts, WHY, 2019
Acrylic gouache, colored pencil, ink, graphite on gessoed panel
24 x 18 inches
September 7 – October 26, 2019
Opening: Saturday, September 7, 4-6pm
To kick off its sixteenth season, which will focus on living women artists, MINUS SPACE is excited to present the solo exhibition Leslie Roberts: HOW THINGS ARE. In the Williamsburg, Brooklyn-based artist’s second solo exhibition at the gallery, she presents a group of new diagrammatic paintings that deepen her investigation into ephemeral language and color abstraction.
Leslie Roberts’s new rule-based paintings “reflect how things are, in my life and in the world,” and are visual/verbal hybrids containing handwritten lists of words and phrases that are algorithmically translated into geometric color structures. According to the artist, “lists are the most basic form of writing,” and Roberts collects and catalogs ambient language from diverse sources, such as signage, travel directions, text messages, product labels, acronyms, email, licensing agreements, and field guides. Inventories, for instance of bird species or poetic forms, are quietly evocative, while other lists are “mismatched lexicons full of absurd non-sequiturs.”
Working in a variety of media, including acrylic gouache, ink, and pencil, on slender MDF panels, Roberts transcribes these indexes of contemporary vernacular into columns of handwritten letters. Each item on a list is assigned a particular color and mark. Individual letters in words are subsequently laid out along gridded axes as lines, shapes, clusters of dots, and other inventive forms, creating trembling, overlapping geometric patterns visually akin to ancient hieroglyphics, digital code, woven textiles, or musical scores. Roberts’s paintings ultimately function as diagrams of their own making.
For further information about Leslie Roberts, her exhibition, and available artworks, please contact the gallery. Available artworks can also be viewed on our Artsy page: www.artsy.net/minus-space.
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 and abroad for the past 30 years. Her highly-acclaimed first solo exhibition at the gallery, FYEO, took place in 2016 and was widely reviewed. She has also exhibited her work at esteemed venues such as Art in General, Brooklyn Museum, Bruce High Quality Foundation, Dam Stuhltrager Gallery, Davidson Contemporary, Hallwalls, Janet Kurnatowski Gallery, Lyons Wier Gallery, McKenzie Fine Art, Painting Center, Pierogi Gallery, PPOW Gallery, Rotunda Gallery, Sideshow Gallery, Swiss Institute, Tiger Strikes Asteroid NY, Weatherspoon Art Gallery, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, among many others.
Roberts produced many of her new paintings during recent residencies at Yaddo, Ragdale, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She has also received awards from Pratt Institute, Yale University, and Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture. Her work has been discussed in publications such as ArtFCity, Artforum, The Brooklyn Rail, dArt International, James Kalm Report, NY Arts Magazine, Sculpture Magazine, TimeOut London, and Two Coats of Paint. 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.