Leslie Wilkes: Prosopagnosia
October 5, 2012 – January 4, 2013
Opening reception Friday, October 5, 5 – 7 PM
Marfa Country Clinic is pleased to announce Prosopagnosia, an exhibition of new gouaches by artist Leslie Wilkes.
With these new works, Wilkes continues her exploration of the power of the visual. The artist organizes color, pattern, and forms in a dynamic, sight-based sensory experience that stimulates the viewer’s visual cortex.
Face blindness, or prosopagnosia, is a condition in which individuals cannot recognize the faces of people they know well. Wilkes takes the concept of prosopagnosia as a metaphor for the tendency humans have as viewers to seek, and often find, a face, a body or other recognizable object in a formation of clouds, a burned tortilla or a work of art.
The paintings originate with geometric patterns organized in a kaleidoscopic and symmetrical arrangement. Each new work’s pattern choice is selected in reaction to a previous work’s combination of form and color. Like with Rorschach tests, viewers may start recognizing, or not, subtle facial or more obscure forms in the perfect symmetry of these pattern assemblages.
To produce a flat, soft hard-edge between the forms, the paint is applied without the use of masking tape. Brushstrokes are minimal, but not absent. The color and surface are rich and belie their graphic beginnings.
Leslie Wilkes is a painter, gardener and radio DJ who lives in Marfa. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Texas and a graduate degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and was the recipient of the Milton and Sally Avery fellowship at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, NH. She has had solo exhibitions throughout the U.S. Most recently, her work was featured in The State of the Art: Contemporary Artists in Texas by June Mattingly (Bookbaby, 2012).
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