Leslie Holt


31 January - 11 March, 2017
OPENING: Friday 3 February, 6-8pm
TALK: Saturday 4 February, 11am
Unspeakable (Sabine), 2016, acrylic and embroidery on canvas, 48x36"

In late January the third Leslie Holt solo exhibition goes up at David Lusk Gallery–Memphis. Her exhibition, Unspeakable, explores depictions of grief and triumph in a series of embroidered paintings that feature art-historic images of strong women.

Holt imagined the Unspeakable series while studying Guernica, Picasso’s famous response to the bombing of a small Spanish town. Holt states, “I feel compelled to return to this painting again and again, as it conveys extreme emotions for which words are insufficient.”

After acrylic-staining unprimed canvas Holt embroiders the woman image, working in a network of clumps and lines. “Much like washing my aging mother’s hair,” Holt says, “the stitches require careful attention and a slow pace. The activity is simple but full. A lot is left unspoken.”

The daunting stains of thinned acrylic pigment hover near Holt’s figures, speaking to a wordless memory or truth. Reminiscent of Kathe Kollwitz’s depictions of grieving women in times of unspeakable loss, Holt’s images take on a more abstract approach to grief. The bright colors and graphic lines work to partially disguise a darker reality and origin. Despite the historic connections, each Holt woman relates to the universal and personal, representing either a shared reality of the past or a more personal one in the present.

Holt received her BFA from Washington University and MFA from Washington State University. Along with several solo exhibitions across the country and a recent review in the Washington Post, and a feature in the book Pink Globalization: Hello Kitty’s Trek Across the Pacific by Christine Yano.

David Lusk Gallery is located at 97 Tillman. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Friday 10-5:30 and Saturday 11-4. For more information or visuals please contact Amelia Briggs at 901 767 3800 or amelia@davidluskgallery.com.

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