OPENING RECEPTION Saturday, January 11, 2014 6-8pm
Curated by Jarrett Earnest
This show marks the largest exhibition of artist Abby Leigh on the West Coast. Her lively abstractions—composed of layered bands of color—are urban landscapes. Their complex color relationships and sensitive surfaces create visual rhythms that will build throughout Meridian's Victorian interiors. These large oil paintings use thin layers of pigment to produce both hard-edges and feathery brush strokes. As curator Jarrett Earnest explains: "Leigh brings together geometric structures with organic gestures, as well as marks you easily see and those you don't. They are cosmopolitan paintings in a sense, balancing and finding room for all kinds in the way that her subject, New York City, incomparably does." Leigh's smoke drawings, also on display, deny smoke its romantic nature to form bar codes and targets. There is an accompanying scholarly catalog featuring an interview with Abby Leigh, and essays by Jarrett Earnest and Curtis Foster, the Steven and Anne Ames Curator of Drawing at the Whitney Museum of American Art.
The night of the opening, Earnest will moderate "Serving Crazy", a conversation between Leigh and Bay Area painters Robin McDonnell, Bruno Fazzolari, and Prajakti Jayavant. Starting with Josef Albers' statement "I'm not paying homage to the square, its just the dish I serve my craziness about color in," these artists will discuss their different approaches to making a painting, and what, if anything, "abstraction" as a category means today.
About the artist: Abby Leigh is a mid-career artist who has shown extensively in Europe and in the U.S. Over the last twenty years, she has had multiple solo shows in Italy, France, and Denmark, as well as in the United States. Recent New York solo shows include three at Betty Cunningham Gallery and two at Dieu Donne Papermill. She is in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum, the Guggenheim, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Metropolitan Museum, among many others.
About the curator: Jarrett Earnest attended the San Francisco Art Institute before moving to New York City in 2010. Last year he co-founded the conceptual gallery 1:1 in the Lower East Side where he met Abby Leigh at a performance. His unorthodox interviews with artists as disparate as Paul McCarthy, Richard Tuttle, Chris Burden and Roni Horn appear in the art newspaper The Brooklyn Rail, and he regularly contributes to both Art Practical and the San Francisco Art Quarterly.