Leslie Reid: A Darkening Vision

August 30 - October 30, 2011

For Leslie Reid, the sensory experience of the landscape is deeply imbued with feeling.

This retrospective traces a career spanning three decades. Selected from a larger body of work by Ottawa painter Leslie Reid, the paintings are grouped thematically by air, earth and water.

“Air” sets out works from the 1970s, liminally abstract, delicately nuanced paintings of the skies over Grand Calumet Island in the Ottawa River valley alongside recent paintings of Cape Pine on the southernmost tip of the Avalon Peninsula of Newfoundland, where thick, enveloping fog creates its own palpable whiteness.

“Earth” groups paintings from the artist’s travels in France, England and California during the 1980s and early 1990s.

“Water” spans a lengthy period from the mid 1990s to the end of the first decade of the present century, when Reid was focused more narrowly on family property in Cantley, Quebec, and returns to the Ottawa River towards the end.

Although Reid has always worked from photographs, her intention has never been photographic objectivity. What interests her are the perceptual and psychological sensations provoked by the experience of a particular place.

Whereas the sense of a lived connection with the natural phenomena of air, earth, and water is a constant in her work, over time her vision has darkened, both literally, in response to a particular place and in a deepening emphasis on the fragility of the human connection.

The sense of wilderness, real or imaginative, and with it the anxiety of survival, is never completely absent from her work.

Curated by

Diana Nemiroff

Artists in the exhibition

Leslie Reid


Leslie Reid: A Darkening Vision

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