"Leaf Wall / Manet"
Leslie Poole, "Leaf Wall / Manet," acrylic on canvas, 40" X 26".
LESLIE POOLE, After Manet
Scott Gallery, Edmonton
April 18 to May 5, 2009
By Dina O'Meara
Leslie Poole has spent the last three decades perfecting his hand in … everything from Expressionism, to faux Picasso modernism, to brash landscapes, to tongue-in-cheek photorealism. Now the Vancouver resident returns to a long-term passion, the works of French realist/impressionist Édouard Manet’s flower portraits. Unlike a similar series completed several years ago, Poole’s most recent pieces reflect his own technique and emotional content. The paintings were created by spreading an undercoat of acrylic colour on a canvas by hand, then layering clear gel, then painting — all undertaken using his hand rather than brushes. He would scoop up a handful of acrylic paint or gel and ladle it on, then swirl the paint with his hand. Poole always seeks to challenge himself, and was using the technique on Manet’s flowers to change the way he approached landscapes. He has since painted a number of complex landscapes in the same manner, struggling to keep the composition and multi-layering effect of branches against a sky while using his hands to paint. He originally had no intention of showing the flowers, considering them warm-ups to the landscapes, but he was persuaded to make them public, and this show is the result.
Represented by: Scott Gallery, Edmonton; Virginia Christopher Fine Art, Calgary; Van Dop Gallery, New Westminster, B.C.; Winchester Galleries, Victoria