Lesley Vance produces abstract paintings that are replete with incongruous and unexpected shapes, colors, and lines that flow freely. Although her early work was inspired by the Dutch still life tradition, her more recent work concentrates on the possibility of improvisation as a tool of image-making, as she consistently re-works wet paint sitting on the unfinished canvas as a point of departure for sudden, unpredictable moves.
In Untitled, such a signature approach is reinforced by her decision to divide the space of the painting into a series of organic shapes, whose hierarchy of depth is introduced by shades of dark that register as shadows. While the majority of the painting is painted in subtle shades of opaque grey, the flashes of primary colors—green, yellow, and red—introduced in its corners redirect the spectator’s vision and balance out the painting as a whole. Untitled thus constantly lures the spectator back into the picture plane by presenting a mysterious image whose dimensionality cannot be easily ascertained.