55 Orchard Street, New York, New York 10002 212 989 5467 fax 212 989 5642
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Tom Leaver
 October 16 - November 29, 2015

Tom Leaver creates his atmospheric and ethereal paintings using his hands directly. Wearing gloves, paint is applied through fingertip daubs and sweeps of the palm or the edge of his hand. A brush is used only to add turpentine, which partially dissolves the paint, creating visible streaks, paint runs and smudges. The image is then built up again, and the process is repeated at length until the work coalesces. With this intuitive and animated paint application, Leaver creates rich and varied surfaces which are engaging to view both close-up and from a distance. For the artist, this emphasis on process and being present in the action of the painting is akin to a daily meditation practice and is informed by his readings of the works of the Zen Buddhist master Shunryu Suzuki. Leaver's imagery, suggestive of landscape, is entirely imaginary, and he has never based his compositions on photographs or recollections of places he has lived or traveled to.
Leaver works in a range of scales, from 10 x 8 inches to over five feet tall. As with each prior body of work, there are distinctive palette shifts as well as changes in the perspectival depth portrayed. In these new paintings there is a greater use of warm and jewel-like colors set against darker brown and black tones. Forms suggestive of foliage and bodies of water surround an expansive, lighter space in the larger works. Leaver's interest in a central halo effect comes from looking at old pinhole photographs, which also informs the deeper space portrayed in these works. He cites the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch as influential, in particular Bosch's palette as well as the predominance of elliptical shapes. In the smaller-scaled works, Leaver's use of color is even further removed from a naturalistic palette and the paintings are more abstracted.
Through his sensuous and engaged mark-making process, Leaver coalesces abstract elements into imagery that is vaguely recognizable but dream-like, conjuring the ineffable quality of memory.
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55 Orchard Street, New York, New York 10002 212 989 5467 fax 212 989 5642
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