Gallery  April 11, 2019  Chandra Noyes

Leslie Parke's World of Abstractions

Courtesy Gremillion and Company, Fine Arts, Inc

Leslie Parke, Resurface, Photograph Archival Inkjet

Courtesy Gremillion and Company, Fine Arts, Inc

Leslie Parke, Rain Blooming

Leslie Parke brings her large, textured abstractions to Gremillion and Company, Fine Arts, Inc in Houston this month. Her canvasses, some measuring more than seven feet across, and photographs offer rich tapestries of texture and color.

Parke, an upstate New York artist who has been showing regionally and nationally for decades, has recently moved from hyperreal depictions of piles of refuse into more abstracted works. While these may seem like disparate bodies of work, they have much in common. Upon close examination, Parke’s hyperreal images of heaps of shiny bottles and stacks of colorful paper dissolved into a field of color and texture. In her current work, Parke is simply skipping the middle man, bringing us directly to the intricacies and painterly brushstrokes once housed in recognizable images.

Courtesy Gremillion and Company, Fine Arts, Inc

Leslie Parke, Summer Rain, Oil on canvas

Many of these works still reference the real world, such as Tree in Twilight, but finding what is familiar to us—the faint outline of tree branches lost in a mess of blossoms-—seems unimportant, and the feeling we get by being absorbed in the blur and texture she creates is dominant. Parke further welcomes us into her process by sharing how she sees the world. The inclusion of high-resolution large digital photographic prints in this exhibition, particularly Surfacing and Resurface, demonstrate the dance her works do between directly referencing nature and creating environments all their own. Paintings that appear purely abstract may (or may not) have specific real-world inspirations.

Leslie Parke, Conversations with Giotto, Silver pencil, chalk, chalkboard paint on canvas
Courtesy Gremillion and Company, Fine Arts, Inc

Leslie Parke, Conversations with Giotto, Silver pencil, chalk, chalkboard paint on canvas

Leslie Parke, Tree in Twilight, Oil, enamel, metal paint on canvas
Courtesy Gremillion and Company, Fine Arts, Inc

Leslie Parke, Tree in Twilight, Oil, enamel, metal paint on canvas

Leslie Parke, The Queen's Skirt, Oil and metallic paint on canvas
Courtesy Gremillion and Company, Fine Arts, Inc

Leslie Parke, The Queen's Skirt, Oil and metallic paint on canvas

Leslie Parke, Gate, Photograph Archival Inkjet
Courtesy Gremillion and Company, Fine Arts, Inc

Leslie Parke, Gate, Photograph Archival Inkjet

Leslie Parke, Surfacing, Photograph Archival Inkjet
Courtesy Gremillion and Company, Fine Arts, Inc

Leslie Parke, Surfacing, Photograph Archival Inkjet

Other more brightly colored works, like Summer Rain and Rain Blooming, show the artist letting her paint and its inherent qualities create their own natural worlds. A summer rain may not be bright pink in reality, but when it is much needed, it can certainly feel that way, and the drips and loops on the canvas echo both the emotions and physical realities of such an event. Through her emotive use of paint, Parke shares with us the wonder and intimacy she finds in nature, inviting us to get lost in the natural worlds of her paintings.

Continuous Flow is on view at Gremillion and Company, Fine Arts in Houston through May 4.

About the Author

Chandra Noyes

Chandra Noyes is Managing Editor for Art & Object.

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