Loretta Howard Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of abstract paintings by New York based artist, Leah Durner. The works included –on canvas and paper–were created between 2002 and 2006.
Drawing her color from many sources, including fashion, surfer and skateboard art, and mass design, Durner uses a full palette: beautiful, ugly, sick, joyful, fake, real, sweet, tart, pale and dark. In Prada Spring 1996 (2006), Durner takes the colors right off the runway—from Miuccia Prada’s breakthrough Spring 1996 collection—where “ugly” color and “geek” style became a celebrated part of the high-fashion aesthetic. She builds this surface with thick chunks of paint. Always using a raw and direct application, Durner plays with depth and surface, coherence and dissolution, seriousness and frivolity.
The edge is always important in Durner’s work. For instance, Blue 06 (2006) appears to be a detail cropped out of a much larger painting and in her large-scale works on paper the edge is raw and unmet.
For this exhibition, Durner has transformed the gallery space into a reading room furnished with midcentury modern furniture and with books on art and design available for perusal. The installation embraces the gallery’s program of late modernist painting, the intimate scale and location of the space itself and the playful sensibility of summer.