Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Leslie Laskey: Realms

I have a romantic notion of Art as a megalo entity which evolves with every brush stroke of creative thought. A land of fanciful direction and adventure. A box of chocolates.
I first encountered the work of Leslie Laskie when I saw the piece "Bis Suite (Citra)" at an earlier salon show in the Bruno David Gallery. I was pleased to find Leslie was to have his own show and went to the opening. It was well attended and much enjoyed by everyone. Asking around, I was soon able to identify Mr. Laskey. He is a mature gentleman with a welcoming smile and questioning eyes. A teacher.
I introduced myself and told him I was a fan. So easy to speak to, within minutes, we were as old friends. He asked what I was doing. I told him I work with ceramics. I also mentioned I run a Saint Louis Art directory web site. I was surprised to find he had read my comments about "Bis Suite (Citra)" in an earlier posting in this blog. I suppose that authenticated my position as a bonafide fan. Anyway, I secured an invitation to visit and to see his work in different stages of progression. One of the reasons I like the work is because it different. One of the reasons it is so different is because Leslie uses many different techniques in a single piece. These are techniques he has mastered during a lifetime of creating art. (I googled his name and found a woodcut print he created in the '60s.)
A piece could include stamping, painting, printing, stenciling, all in coherent development.
"In Realms, Laskey prints, paints and layers the circular or disk form, combining it with other shapes and marks. Laskey's circle is placed carefully, each piece a unique setting, an architectural space in which the entire structure as important to the whole piece as any element within it. The circle, is used in conjunction with a rectangle or rectangles and is explored as both part of an environment and as a realm of its own, including its carefully designed or selected frames. Laskey's media range from gold and silver paint and ink to house paint, sensuous papers and catalogs found on the street. Negative spaces are carefully considered, the colors he chooses subtle, bold and sensuous." -- Yvette Drury Dubinsky
Of course, the essence of the aesthetic is in the use of color. Leslie Laskey has mastered the use of color. Unfortunately, when asked, he had little to say about it. Perhaps it just comes naturally to him.
He also has a great appreciation for ceramics. He showed me some of his collection and offered the names of some of his favorite potters for me to review. We talked about painting and printmaking. I brought my camera and he let me take photographs of him for a cyanotype workshop I am doing this summer at Flo valley. As I was leaving, he showed me some very nice large photographic still life prints that he had just finished. Before I got there, I thought he would advise me to focus my art in single direction. Nope.
His work is showing at the Bruno David Gallery until May 27, 2006.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Collectors Choice V, Largest show of local artists

The Saint Louis Artists' Guild and galleries will present Collectors Choice V May 19 - June 4, 2006. The artwork of over 200 different local artists will be displayed. I had a chance to see a preview last night. It gets better every year. Here is an excellent opportunity to see a very large selection of Saint Louis' finest artists' in a single show.