Barry Whistler Gallery continues the 2017 season with an exhibition of works by gallery artist Leslie Wilkes. New Paintings and Gouaches opens October 21, 6-8 PM, and runs through November 25, 2017.

Marfa, Texas resident Leslie Wilkes continues her mastery of line color and composition in her third solo exhibition with the gallery. Her pattern paintings on canvas and paper have been described as gem like, kaleidoscopic, and even floral. Wilkes sets up a pattern that is used over and over in ever changing delineations. This exhibition will include her largest work to date; a 6 x 6’ canvas as well as several 4 x 4’ and 5 x 5’ canvases. A group of her gouaches on paper works, which are often studies for the canvases, will also be included.

Using a geometric pattern as a template for the composition, sections are divided to make new outlines. One of these shapes will become the central element to the piece, into which another pattern is placed. Color is added, isolating new shapes into symmetrical arrangements. Each selection is a reaction to the previous choice of form and color. The composition of pattern and color is not predetermined and the image remains unresolved until the last shape and color are defined, so the final image is always a surprise. These accidental mandalas form a kind of kaleidoscopic Rorschach blot, which encourages the viewer to seek recognizable form in the image, playing on the mind’s tendency to conjure recognizable images where none actually exist..

Leslie Wilkes received a BA from the University of Texas at Austin and MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and was the recipient of the Milton and Sally Avery Fellowship Award at the McDowell Colony