"DENNIS LERI | CONVERGENCE"
ASHAWAGH HALL, THE SPRINGS, EAST HAMPTON
SEPTEMBER 21 - 22, 2013
ADVANCE VIEW: Saturday, September 21, 2013 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with Exhibition Curator and Solar Director Esperanza León
OPENING RECEPTION: Saturday, September 21, from 4 to 8 p.m.
ARTIST ON ARTIST Q&A: Sunday, September 22, from 2 to 3 p.m. Features Dennis Leri in conversation with Eric Ernst
Esperanza León, Director/Curator of SOLAR, is very pleased to announce the upcoming exhibition of works by sculptor Dennis Leri at Ashawagh Hall in the Springs historical district of East Hampton. Titled "Convergence", the exhibit culls from the last decade of the artist’s output, with works in two and three dimensions, including two never before exhibited wall pieces from 2002.
Dennis Leri is known for his abstract, welded steel sculptures, often painted in bright hues or discreetly waxed and patinaed. His work distills forms to their most essential components, taking cues on gesture and movement from William King, and from Ibram Lassaw, the lesson of working not only form, but the space around it as well.
"Convergence" will present ten free-standing sculptures, with Rise, a vertical, geometric black piece, as the largest and earliest sculpture in the show, measuring 73 inches and dating to 2006. Demonstrating continuity as well as innovation, two entirely new and never exhibited works, the intensely painted Blue and Contemplation, will also be displayed.
Scale being so important a factor with three-dimensional work, smaller maquettes like Spiral and Curve #3, also 2013, will be exhibited. Providing further scope on the matter of scale and how a sculpture evolves (for indoor and outdoor spaces), a small group of sketches will better inform the viewer about the artist’s process.
Wall sculptures are a significant part of Leri’s body of work, as he grapples with issues of volume, space, line, form, and color in abstract two dimensional pieces. León has selected works from three main series: ‘50s Optimism (2009), Urban Cadence (2006-2008), and Macular Deception (2002).
While Leri works primarily from his studio in East Hampton, he frequently visits his native New York City, and the metropolitan's verticality, movement, and ordered chaos often takes form in his work. This is case with Urban Cadence, where dark patinaed, metal strips compete for space and presence, and ultimately achieve a textured harmony.
‘50s Optimism recaptures that decade in large, abstract pieces of automobile paint on aluminum. Both the choice of metal and paint colors, which are original to the time, harken to that post-WWII era that embodied the American Dream of promise and success. Exhibited for the first time, two works from Macular Deception (2002) evidence yet another facet of the artist who achieves here a kinetic, volumetric metal surface through paint alone.
For many years, Leri has devoted time and energy to the programs and well-being of Ashawagh Hall as a member of the board, leader of its art committee, exhibition organizer, and exhibitor. "Convergence" is an opportunity to appreciate a survey of the artist’s sculptural work from the last ten years.
Through the additional scheduled program of an Advance View with the curator and the Artist on Artist Q&A with Eric Ernst, this two-day exhibit aims to give further dimension to Leri himself: his career, viewpoints, aesthetic and creative processes.
Since leaving SOLAR’s commercial space in 2005, Esperanza León has curated a number of exhibits in alternate spaces and organised studio events in order to continue promoting not only the SOLAR roster of Latin American artists but selected East End artists not permanently affiliated with the gallery but whom she has considered under-recognised and worthy of representation.
León has organized and curated over 80 exhibitions since 2001 through her gallery and art business. She collaborated with El Museo del Barrio in New York City on the organization of the exhibition and catalogue Nexus/New York in 2009 and was honored with selecting the artists for the "44th Springs Invitational" at Ashawagh Hall, as well as guest curating the exhibition "Rafael Ferrer: Contrabando" at Guild Hall of East Hampton in 2012. She currently contributes to Hamptons Art Hub, an online source for the arts on the East End and beyond.
BASIC INFO: "Convergence" - A Survey by Dennis Leri will be presented by Solar at Ashawagh Hall from Sept 21 - 22, 2013.
An Advance View with Exhibition Curator and Solar Director Esperanza León takes place on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. An Opening Reception will be held on Saturday from 4 to 8 p.m. An Artist on Artist Q&A will be held on Sunday from 2 to 3 p.m. The event features Dennis Leri in conversation with artist Eric Ernst.
Ashawagh Hall is located at 780 Springs Fireplace Rd, Springs, NY 11937. www.ashawagh-hall.org.