Tom Leaver

Artist Information

Statement about out of the blue

In these new paintings by California-based artist Tom Leaver, there is a marked change in palette from muted tones to bright greens and pale blues with yellow accents.  Landscape references and perspective indicators are nearly absent, creating spaces more shallow and ambiguous than in past work.  This allows the paintings to be interpreted simultaneously as glimpses above or below a watery surface or as fecund, primordial vistas.  Rather than describing a specific place or investigating topographic verisimilitude, Leaver’s work depicts as essence of the natural world.  The artist works entirely from his imagination without the use of sketches or photographs.  Leaver’s paintings explore the intersection between our experience of a physical sense of place, and the ineffable quality that landscape holds in our memories.

Leaver’s works are painted literally by gloved hand and then brushed with turpentine across the top edge, causing drips and dissolutions of the surface.  His imagery appears to be at once dissolving and emerging, or as the artist has noted,

“…these paintings are about process, the ritual of painting and are not focused on image.  They are about being present with the act of painting and allowing that to direct the work.”

January 2009


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Tom Leaver - <b>Niyama</b>, 2008, oil on canvas, 72 x 57 inches
Tom Leaver - <b>Dristis</b>, 2007, oil on canvas, 59 x 47 inches
Tom Leaver - <b>Apogee</b>,  2007, oil on canvas, 54 x 47 inches