Leigh Wells at Gallery 16 June 6-July 31, 2008
Gallery 16 is pleased to welcome San Francisco artist Leigh Wells for her first solo show with the gallery. Wells will show a series of drawings and collage that involve altering reproductions of historical artworks. For many years the artist has used existing images of famous artworks as source material for her collage or platforms for her own mark-making. Reproduction is the method through which most people view fine art, in art books, magazines, newspapers etc. These relatively valueless copies of masterworks become raw material for the artist. Wells interacts with these works and reinterprets their perceived meaning and value.
One of the prominent collections in this show present the altered pages of a damaged book on the work of Thomas Gainsborough. “I found this book on one of my street scavenges in New York, probably in around 1997 or so. Thomas Gainsborough portrayed the British royalty and aristocracy of the 18th century as it wished to be seen. I interact with images and documents that represent cultural ideas, accepted history or religious ideology. By altering what is found, I find a way to question or obscure the presumed point of view of their creators. This is an attempt to disrupt reductive views of the world as they contrast to what I see as the overwhelmingly complex and unknowable nature of reality.”