Leslie Poole, "Velazquez Subverted," 2001, acrylic on canvas, 60" x 40".
By Jennifer MacLeod
In his spring exhibition, Now and Then: Revisiting the Present, Leslie Poole blends still life with figurative painting and glimpses of landscape. Portraying isolated moments set within the hallways and rooms of his Vancouver home, and pairing new works with earlier pieces dating as far back as 1976, the show is a reversal of post-modernism. "Instead of revisiting the past in terms of the present, I find it interesting to be revisiting the present in terms of the past," says Poole. Many of his realist paintings pay visual homage to historic works by such painters as Bonnard and Velazquez, and explore attitudes and impressions regarding gender and power, sensuality and sexuality. Poole's work has been diverse over his 30-year career, moving from realism to expressionism. In recent years, he has gravitated back to photo-realism. A keen observer of light, the artist deftly balances light and shadow, geometric forms with organic shapes, representations of intellect with expressions of emotion. Leslie Poole's solo show begins February 8 at the Scott Gallery in Edmonton. Poole is represented in Calgary by Virginia Christopher Fine Art and in Victoria by the Winchester Gallery.