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Tom Leaver
February 18 - March 28, 2021



Leaver makes his layered paintings using his gloved hands, applying oil paint in sweeps of his palm, the side of his hand, and in quick daubs with his fingertips. His only use of a brush is to apply turpentine to the painted surface, creating visible runs in the compositions. Rags are also employed to pull the solvent through the paint or wipe it away. This action of building up layers of paint and then partially dissolving them is repeated until the artist is satisfied that each painting is resolved. In this new body of work, the softly luminous surfaces are enhanced by the addition of more energetic marks than seen in recent paintings, and his palette of varying earth tones, dark greens, and golds is enlivened with warm hues of orange, red, and pink, both as accents and within the underpainting.
 
While landscape is ostensibly the subject matter of Leaverís work--clusters of trees and other vegetation frame a small body of water with a soft and hazy sky above--the views depicted are entirely imaginary. They are never based on personal memories or photographs of an actual place, nor is their aim to record a time of day or condition of weather, nor to continue the traditions of, e.g., Hudson River School painting. Rather, Leaverís landscapes are an expression of emotional, psychological, and spiritual states of mind. He cites the influence of artists Agnes Martin and Pat Steir, and how their work is imbued with a quality of distant light and silence. He also cites the influence of the Disintegration Loops of composer William Basinski, in which old tape recordings were repeatedly looped; as the tapes physically degraded during playback, progressively less music remained, ending with no sound. Leaverís spiritual practice of zazen meditation and ashtanga yoga also informs his work: the paintings are a tangible expression of present-mindedness during the act of creation.
 
The exhibition also features graphite drawings on paper, which the artist has never exhibited before. The drawings specifically reflect his long-standing interest in Chinese landscape with its quality of being suggestive rather than literal. He cites the work of 11th and 12th century Song Dynasty painters Guo Xi and Li Tang as particular influences.
 
  Tom Leaver, Months 1
Months 1, 2020
Oil on canvas
40 x 30 inches
Tom Leaver, Months 2
Months 2, 2020
Oil on canvas
40 x 30 inches
Tom Leaver, Months 3
Months 3, 2020
Oil on canvas
40 x 30 inches
  Tom Leaver, Months 4
Months 4, 2020
Oil on canvas
40 x 30 inches
Tom Leaver, Months 5
Months 5, 2020
Oil on canvas
40 x 30 inches
Tom Leaver, Juncture 1
Juncture 1, 2020
Oil on canvas
24 x 20 inches
  Tom Leaver, Juncture 3
Juncture 3, 2020
Oil on canvas
24 x 20 inches
Tom Leaver, Juncture 2
Juncture 2, 2020
Oil on canvas
24 x 20 inches
Tom Leaver, Juncture 4
Juncture 4, 2020
Oil on canvas
24 x 20 inches
  Tom Leaver, Days 1
Days 1, 2020
Oil on canvas
20 x 16 inches
Tom Leaver, Days 2
Days 2, 2020
Oil on canvas
20 x 16 inches
Tom Leaver, Days 3
Days 3, 2020
Oil on canvas
20 x 16 inches
  Tom Leaver, Days 4
Days 4, 2020
Oil on canvas
20 x 16 inches
Tom Leaver, Untitled TL10186
Untitled, 2020
Graphite on paper
17 x 14 inches
Tom Leaver, Untitled TL10196
Untitled, 2020
Graphite on paper
17 x 14 inches
  Tom Leaver, Untitled TL10204
Untitled, 2020
Graphite on paper
17 x 14 inches
Tom Leaver, Untitled TL10191
Untitled, 2020
Graphite on paper
17 x 14 inches
Tom Leaver, Untitled TL10189
Untitled, 2020
Graphite on paper
17 x 14 inches
  Tom Leaver, installation 1
Installation view
Tom Leaver, installation 2
Installation view
Tom Leaver, installation 3
Installation view
  Tom Leaver, installation 1
Installation view
Tom Leaver, installation 2
Installation view
Tom Leaver, installation 3
Installation view
  Tom Leaver, installation 4
Installation view
Tom Leaver, installation 5
Installation view
Tom Leaver, installation 6
Installation view
  Tom Leaver, installation 7
Installation view
Tom Leaver, installation 8
Installation view
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