Leslie Allen’s solo exhibition “Cadenza” opens tomorrow June 2nd at Seager Gray Gallery, Mill Valley

Leslie Allen, Arpeggio, oil on canvas over panel, 48 x 48″, 2013. Courtesy of Seager Gray Gallery.

Leslie Allen, The Kiss, oil on canvas over panel, 35 x 36″, 2013. Courtesy of Seager Gray Gallery

Opening tomorrow at Seager Gray Gallery in Mill Valley is “Cadenza”, a solo exhibition of paintings by Leslie Allen. The exhibition runs from July 2 – July 31. There will be a reception for the artist on Friday, July 12 from 6 to 8 PM. The exhibition will be accompanied by a full color catalog. As a part of the Mill Valley Artwalk, there will be a special preview of the exhibition next Tuesday, July 9 from 5 to 8 PM.

Nearly 30 years ago, Leslie Allen leased her first studio in Sausalito overlooking the water. Her exhibition, “Cadenza” celebrates these thirty years with a body of work that is a triumph of classical modernism, channeling with new vitality the spirit of her greatest influences, Richard Diebenkorn and Henri Matisse. Looking at her paintings one can’t help but think of Diebenkorn working from Sausalito years ago looking at the bay harbor when he had a studio there from 1947 to the end of 1949. Diebenkorn, for his part brought his own imaginings of Matisse in Collioure, the fishing village on the Mediterranean where he did some of his most important work. In these paintings, Allen has managed to utilize the Matisse-like use of pattern, flat shapes and high contrast while incorporating Diebenkorn’s keenly developed sense of structure and proportion. Her use of plumb lines to break up and ground more patterns
in the vivid blue space orchestrates the experience for the viewer into a slide show of the myriad shapes, colors and contrasts that daily enchant her in the view from her studio window.

For more information visit here.

7/1/13: SF Arts Quarterly:
Leslie Allen’s solo exhibition “Cadenza” opens tomorrow June 2nd at Seager Gray Gallery, Mill Valley


Featured Artist: Leslie Allen

Originally from New Mexico and Texas, Sausalito resident Leslie Allen has been an artist in the ICB Building for over 20 years. Her large abstract oil paintings reveal the influence of Bay area abstractionists of the forties and fifties. Through many years of study and experimentation, Allen has developed her own visual language, with gestural marks and a color sense that echo Joan Mitchell, and a geometric space-division in her work that relates more to Frank Lobdell or Richard Diebenkorn.

Allen’s work shows solid structural bones and intense love of color, gesture and paint. Some of Allen’s canvases are a dozen paintings deep, and through the layers she teases out early marks and shapes by sanding, scraping, and digging through the layers of oil paint. As Leslie says, "It’s easy to see how a person might tear a rotator trying to get a large abstract oil painting to feel just right. I never had that concern making small landscapes en plein air!"

For almost 20 years before meeting artist and mentor Chester Arnold, Allen had been a die-hard watercolorist with little interest in any other medium. Though Arnold appreciated watercolors, he seemed so certain Allen would take to oil paint like a bee to nectar that Allen realized she had stumbled into a rare opportunity to learn oil painting from someone entirely old-worldly in his tangible reverence for the craft of drawing and painting. Allen studied with Arnold for the next decade, and credits him with infinite magic as a mentor and artist.

Leslie is represented by Donna Seager Gallery in San Rafael, and will have her next solo exhibit there mid-December through January 2010. Her work is published by ArtBrokers, Inc. of Sausalito.

Allen and her husband, artist and architect Barry Peterson (another Artist of OurSausalito.com), also run Studio 300A at the ICB, an architectural office specializing in unique, highly-tailored residential and commercial organic architecture.

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