Tag Archives: Exhibits

Ode to Curators

Jeanne Brasile, Director of Seton Hall University’s Walsh Gallery, and I had been in dialogue about my art over a couple of years and how to present my work in an exhibition. The process of watching her assimilate my work and paring down all the facets of my output (paintings, sculptures, work on paper, et al.) to a cohesive concept was observing the mastery of a curator’s skill. As a result she luckily became the curator of my exhibition “Earthly Pleasures” showing at the Walsh Gallery until April 5, 2013 (pictured below).

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It is a wonderful thing for me to witness a curator design an exhibit of my work that executes their vision. Just less than a year ago Jeanne commented that the exhibit she envisioned would revolve around my travels and observations of the natural worlds I experienced, using the colors they presented as was nurtured by my Grandmother many years earlier. Brasile familiarized herself with my oeuvre so that it became possible for her to choose the work that supported her idea, writing the names of the pieces on the gallery’s blueprint with the installation designs she envisioned. This she confidently did by email.

And the exhibit was executed exactly as Jeanne conceived it six months before receiving the work in hand. The clarity with which she visualized her intentions and the superb fulfillment of those intentions fill me with admiration, awe and so much respect for Jeanne and for curators. It is a delight for me to walk into the gallery and recognize a “story” told so well with my art and the curator’s understanding of my issues. Thanks Jeanne Brasile!

I think you will gain an understanding of Jeanne’s curatorial process if you read Jeanne’s statement below, accompanied by photographs of the exhibit “Earthly Pleasures” by David Vogel:

27Marietta Patricia Leis’ lush, saturated color field paintings function as fenestrations into an unconfined world of natural forms. The oil paintings are, in part, evocative of landscapes, seascapes, plant forms, weather patterns or micro-organisms and can be concomitantly seen as many of these phenomena. Nuances of color and light palpably depict a range of imagery that encapsulates a life of experience, serving as complex memory portraits that tap into emotions and feelings. For Leis, the paintings are meditations on specific places and times in her life.

The earliest of these memories date to the time she spent with her maternal grandmother, Ermelinda Fiore. Ermelinda’s world was one of scents and colors, a lasting impression on Leis’ young mind. Leis recalls accompanying her grandmother to the garden, spending hours listening to her as she described the flowers and their various attributes. Making their way back to the house, they would then arrange the flowers into bouquets, an art form in her grandmother’s home. The kitchen was similarly filled with indulgences of taste, smell and creativity. Cooking was also a form of creative expression for her grandmother and provided another realm of aromas and colors amid a backdrop of floral arrangements from the garden.

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Leis’ more recent influences are derived from her extensive travels, one of the most seminal being a trip to Italy in 1979. There she tapped deeper into her Italian heritage and absorbed a new range of 48colors and influences. After an artist residency in Crater Lake, Oregon, Leis’ painting took on new resonance. She began to travel more widely to such exotic locations as Thailand, Greece, the Antarctic, Finland, Spain and Portugal. Having experienced a variety of locales, each with their own particular light and color conditions, her paintings took on the task of expressing the bounty of nature and its variety of nuances.

The multiplicity of blue shades encompassed in the sky and water became one of her favorite muses. This can be seen most clearly in works like Barrier Rift I & II, Breathless 1-6, and QuietnessDepictions of atmospheric conditions are expressed in Pixels, which indicate a variety of tones and colors as well as the formless structures of fog and light. But Leis’ work always draws upon her early years back in New Jersey with her grandmother. The Seed paintings offer us a variety of green, brown and golden hues culled from her “nonna’s” garden. The sheer variety of colors, light conditions, hues, tones and saturations attributed to Leis’ work reveals an artist that is concerned with looking at, meditating on, luxuriating in the bounty of nature and all its endless permutations. In Earthly Pleasures we enter a world that Leis constructs for us from memory. It is the absence of a very specific, figurative language that leaves us with occasion to assemble memories borne of our own experiences. Leis’ ability to reference her own past and present, while bridging that of her audience makes her painting resonate so profoundly. In every work we sense the artist’s gratitude and awe in the bounty of nature and we, too, can feel it intensely.

– Jeanne Brasile, Curator

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Tag Archives: Exhibits

Earthly Pleasures at Seton Hall University

pixel-installEarthly Pleasures, a solo exhibition of my work curated by Jeanne Brasile, will be shown at the Walsh Gallery, Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ. The exhibit will run from March 11th-April 5th with an opening reception on March 14th,  from 5-8pm. It will encompass work of the last 12 years that reflects my impressions of the many places I have traveled. There will be approximately 57 pieces shown including paintings from the Blue Series, Green Series, and Pixels, as well as works on paper and some sculptures.

Being a native daughter of East Orange, NJ, I grew up close to the University where there was an enclave of Italian-Americans, one being my grandmother, Ermelinda Napoliello. She was an enormous influence on my sense of beauty, aesthetics and especially of color.  I would work by her side in her garden of adundant colors. The use of color in my work reflects this early exposure and drew Brasile to my work.

Peter Frank, art critic of the Huffington Post, has written an essay that accompanies the exhibition:

MARIETTA PATRICIA LEIS: GALLERY OF EARTHLY PLEASURES

Vapor_5Marietta Patricia Leis’ markedly minimal artwork – and minimalist sensibility – belies, but at the same time subtly conveys, its richness of source. However self-referential Leis’ emphatically reductive paintings, objects, and painted objects may seem, they begin in response to stimuli in the observed world. This in itself does not define, much less explain, their existence; if they act diaristically for Leis, emerging from her travels and her feelings, they do not – and should not – act prosaically for us. Rather, they function as distillations of experience, related to places and sensations inspiring them much as perfumes do to the scent sources comprising them. They are not about Leis’ life, but are conjured from it. They themselves provoke sensation, ineffable and yet profound.

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Tag Archives: Exhibits

Popular Ballad 4 Exhibits Again

Ballad 4 just returned to the studio from exhibiting in the International Tour that went to China, South Korea, and Istanbul. Now it’s been chosen to exhibit at the 28th Annual International  Exhibition at Meadows Gallery, University of Texas at Tyler. The exhibit opens January 8th and will show until February 8th with a reception January 17th. Wade Wilson, the director of galleries in both Santa Fe and Houston, selected Ballad 4 to be in this group exhibition. Ballad 4 is a 15 x 15” oil on canvas painting from my series, Atmospheres. The work was inspired by my artist residency in Scotland at the Cawdor Estate, home of Shakespeare’s MacBeth castle. See Stories 2 below, another painting from the Atmospheres series.

Stories2-web

Tag Archives: Exhibits

Pixels Preview at Gallery Sonja Roesch

You are now able to sample 4 of my current oil on wood paintings in the Shades series called Pixels at Gallery Sonja Roesch, Houston.

These are intimate reductive works that can exhibit singularly or in dramatic groupings. Pixels’ wood framing recedes to the wall in a pyramidal shape that makes the paintings seem to float. This creates wonderful mysterious shadows.

Each of the paintings tells a “story of place” capturing the essence of my travel experiences by not allowing the noise of everyday to enter. These are quiet, contemplative works. My use of a limited palette is to convey the predominant colors of an environment. Color conveys the mood of a place and of its people. In their very simplicity the paintings are lush and to be enjoyed.

I hope you have an opportunity to visit Gallery Sonja Roesch!

Tag Archives: Exhibits

Exhibiting in Washington DC

My paintings, Limning 1, 2, and 4 are to be included in a group exhibit entitled Lo Studio dei Nipoti (The Studio of the Grandchildren, Nieces and Nephews) at the Hillyer Art Space at the International Arts and Artists in Washington, DC. September 7th-28th.

The exhibit, curated by Cianne Fragione and Rose Michelle Taverniti, features artists that have family ties to Southern Italy. It evolved from an artist residency of the title’s name that Taverniti initiated to help these artists form a connection to their roots.

Limnings are abstract paintings that reflect my travels on the Southern Coast of Italy by the Tyrrhenian Sea and will exhibit together as a grouping.

More details of the exhibit can be found on the Hillyer Art Space website. I hope you’ll have an opportunity to see the work of these wonderful artists.

Tag Archives: Exhibits

2012 Park Fine Art International Tour Show

Young-Sook Park, Gallery Director at Park Fine Art in Albuquerque, NM, has organized and curated a group exhibit with international artists that will travel to Beijing, Seoul, Istanbul, and conclude in Albuquerque.

I am delighted that my oil painting Ballad 4 will be included in this touring event that enables my work to be shown in far away places. It is always one of my favorite events! 

The tour will open in Beijing September 1st and finishes it’s tour November 16th. More information can be found at http://parkfineart.com/Announcement.aspx.

Tag Archives: Exhibits

GREEN to Exhibit in Idaho Falls

My multimedia exhibit, GREEN: a paradox of abundance and scarcity, will be one part of a two person exhibition at Carr Gallery at Willard Arts Center (Colonial Theater), Idaho Falls. The entire exhibit in the 2000 sf gallery is entitled, Environmental Considerations: New Works by Marietta Patricia Leis and Omar Sarabia, and is being presented by The Idaho Falls Arts Council. The exhibit opens July 14-September 1 with a reception Thursday August 2 starting at 5pm.

The Curator of Exhibitions, Nathan Barnes, selected the two artists represented because they are inspired by specific environments, “The paintings, photographs and sculptures found in Leis’ multimedia installation, Green: a paradox of abundance and scarcity, were developed in response to the flora and fauna she encountered during her artist residency in Northern Thailand. In contrast, Sarabia’s non-objective paintings are developed as a response to his daily surroundings, both domestic and natural, in Pocatello, Idaho.”

 More of my work can be found at www.mariettaleis.com and examples of the GREEN exhibit can be seen on this website at >portfolio>green.

Tag Archives: Exhibits

CROSSING ART, NY EXHIBITION

Thirty-two multimedia works from my exhibit, GREEN: a paradox of abundance and scarcity will be shown in the exhibition, Going Green II at Crossing Art.  Crossing Art will be showing seven artists in this exhibit June 16th – August 16th at their wonderful gallery space in Queens, NY. My work will include monochromatic paintings, poetry texts plates, a video, and hollow, pseudo-food beeswax sculptures that convey the paradox of an unequal world. I will be attending the opening reception 3-6 pm on the 16th.  

Insights 1-3, oil/wood, 5 x 5 x 3″, Vapors, Latex on Acrylic Shelf, 3.5 x 4 x 4″

Going Green II is an annual exhibition that supports not only an eco-friendly environment but raises issues about the current trends and future fate of urban landscapes. I’m very excited to be part of this year’s, Going Green II, the second annual group exhibition of local and international artists, will be on view at Crossing Art in conjunction with this year’s QAX. The Queens Art Express is a spring arts festival of performance, events, exhibitions, and great places to eat in the vibrant cultural communities of Queens NY — along the route of the No. 7 train and beyond.

Tag Archives: Exhibits

Dave Hickey Chooses “Breathless”

Breathless, a series of 5 reductive oil paintings have been selected by Dave Hickey, renowned art critic, to be included in the exhibit, Texas National 2012. The exhibit dates are April 14th-May 26th. Breathless, is from Leis’ ongoing Blue Series inspired from water, sky and ‘blue’ feelings of both sadness and peace.

The Ledbetter Gallery at The Cole Art Center@The Old Opera House in Nacogdoches, TX will be the venue. This is a group exhibit representing artists from around the USA. It has been organized in conjunction with School of Art in the College of Fine Arts at Stephen F. Austin State University (SFA), Charlene Rathburn, Director.

Tag Archives: Exhibits

My Cyanotypes Included in Group Exhibition

Lynn Gumpert, Director of the Grey Gallery at NYU has included 2 of my cyanotypes prints in Works on Paper, a group exhibit at the Abercrombie Gallery, McNeese State University, LA, March 29-May 4th.

Wellspring 9 & Wellspring 11 both are 24” x 24” x 4.5” framed

Cyanotypes are a magical form of photography. As a child you may have made “sunprints” or “nature prints” by placing objects on photosensitive paper and exposing it to light to produce imagery of white with a cyan blue background. Think blueprint.

In reading The New York Review of Books, I came upon a reference to an 1843 book, British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions, by Anna Atkins, an English botanist who published the first book of botany illustrations with her cyanotypes.

When I embarked on an Artist Residency to the Portuguese Azores Island of Flores (flowers) in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, I decided to follow Atkins’ tradition and record my impressions of the wide variety of flowers on Flores making cyanotype photographs.