Jul 14th 2015

For this show we have paired the work of Leslie Baum and Katara Mallory. Leslie Baum is an artist and educator who teaches at the Nathan and Kiyoko Lerner Foundation a center where artists with mental illnesses explore and develop their creative visions. We first showed Baum’s work in 2011 and soon after that she shared with us the incredible drawings of one of her students, Katara Mallory.
Over the past eight years Katara has made hundreds of drawings based on stills from the Star Wars trilogy. The drawings captured our attention for their bold, idiosyncratic forms, their confident hand and strong colors, and the clear, underlying enthusiasm of an artist for his pop culture subject – one to which many viewers will likely be able to relate.

We are pleased to have the opportunity to show Mallory’s work alongside the work of his mentor Leslie Baum. While the two artists work differs on the surface, the formal use of strong color and shape connect the two, as does a more diffuse thematic exploration of imagined access to other worlds.

It is also worth noting how each artist approaches their respective media and ability to explore space and depth in two dimensions, whether in the paused, flattened frames from which Mallory draws, or in Baum’s suggestion of space through flat colors and shapes. Mallory spends hours with markers filling in the dark black spaces of the page with organized, repetitive marks, while Baum explores a range of paint media from watercolor to spray paint on experimental surfaces and shapes which become 3-dimensional paintings or pop-up table top drawings. Space is represented physically as she gets away from traditional geometric boundaries but also each surface plays with the sense of depth within the paintings.

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