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Leslie Kenneth Price
Soka University, Founders Hall Art Gallery, Alisio Villejo, California
Recommendation by Liz Goldner

Leslie Kenneth Price, "Respiration," 2014, acrylic on panel, 48 x 44"

Continuing through December 23, 2015

The 35 acrylic on panel paintings by Leslie Kenneth Price here were influenced in part by his mentor of 50 years ago. Price explains that his college art teacher, abstract painter James Gahagan — who in turn had studied with Hans Hoffman — inspired him to explore the abstract style. And he has pursued abstraction’s variations throughout his career as an artist and art teacher, working first in oils and later in acrylics. Another influence is his daily forays into his garden, which is adjacent to his Northern California home. “I use the observable world, my garden, as a reference and anchor to generate my paintings,” he says. “My intent is to engage with what seems to have a separate existence but is part of a larger dynamic.” Five diptychs stand out for their bright colors and intersections of various nature-inspired shapes.

The artist began creating these pieces a few years ago, at first randomly but soon after intentionally. “I noticed two paintings on the studio wall next to each other, and I loved the visual interplay between them,” he says. “Recognizing that they are stronger together than separate, I work back and forth between each panel.” The diptychs are all painted in 20 or more layers, creating a luminous effect. “Bird on the Shoulder,” “Respiration,” “Sliver” and “Sunygrove” are titles that follow after a painting’s completion, and are related to the shapes within. The paintings are packed with forms reminiscent of flowers, plants, birds, bees and tree branches — all having emerged intuitively, rather than intentionally, but very much inspired by the artist’s long hours in his garden.

Published Courtesy of ArtSceneCal ©2015

Soka University, Founders Hall Art Gallery

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