Shows manages to dazzle by composing…works with incredible detail and the dramatic sweep of a geopolitical paradigm shift. Her works express a hard-to-fathom vision somewhere between utopia and dystopia… They are redolent of endless deserts, black holes and rubble piles, yet Shows combines these unsavory subjects with a haunting, dreamlike beauty. —Glen Helfand, ARTFORUM
The Jack Hanley Gallery, New York, is pleased to present a solo exhibition of the work of Leslie Shows, titled The New Dust, including painting, collage and drawing.
In the artist’s words, her latest work “comes out of a constellation of ideas around landscape painting, self-organizing matter, and the view of ‘things’ as aggregates. While these are for the most part landscapes, I am interested in the matter that constitutes the ground, and how it relates to human bodies and culture. I want to show matter as the principle actor, whether it’s as gold coursing through economies or teeth, or charcoal and pigment depicting dirt and mud.”
“In many of the pieces, I employ materials-as-themselves (paper scraps, text, rust, charcoal) and images (photographs of dust bunnies, a print of a brushstroke) to depict erosion, flow, oxidization, crystallization—they are collages not only of materials but of modes of representation.”
Echoing Robert Smithson’s statement that “vanished theories compose the strata of many forgotten books,” her paintings and collages assemble heterogeneous elements to evoke fragments of former worlds. To Shows, relations between stratifications in rocks, flows of culture, or layers of thought go beyond metaphorical associations to become identical mechanisms in different spheres. Reflection and symmetry, and references to dissolution and stability—most pregnant in her “Ink Icebergs” series—also remind us of the precarious thrill of being alive.
Leslie Shows is a recipient the SECA Art Award, 2006. She has shown her work at SFMOMA, the California Biennial at OCMA, the Oakland Museum of California, Art Nova at Art Basel Miami, the Jack Hanley Gallery San Francisco and the Adobe Books Backroom, among other places