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Leslie Shows

The New Dust

April 19 – May 15, 2008

Installation view

Installation View Phosphoric Smile and The Sky Becomes the Sediment, 2008

print collage

Human Quarry, 2007
acrylic and collage on paper
55 x 42 inches

painted/collage landscape

Phosphoric Smile, 2008

Collage and acrylic on panel

20 x 24 inches


abstract collage


The Au Layer/ Storm Reflecting in a Pool, 2008
acrylic and collage on panel
85 x 75 inches

white and black collage with printed words

Cross-Bedded Texts (The Magnetic Dynamo), 2008
acrylic and collage on panel
60 x 51 inches


Multicolored collage

The Sky Becomes the Sediment, 2008
acrylic and collage on panel
85 x 60 inches

Multicolor abstract
Painted black and white abstract landscape

Leslie Shows
The New Dust
April 19 – May 15, 2008

Opening reception:
Saturday, April 19, 7-9pm


"Shows manages to dazzle by composing…works with incredible detail and the dramatic sweep of a geopolitical paradigm shift. Her works express a hard-to-fathom vision somewhere between utopia and dystopia… They are redolent of endless deserts, black holes and rubble piles, yet Shows combines these unsavory subjects with a haunting, dreamlike beauty."
—Glen Helfand, ARTFORUM


The Jack Hanley Gallery, New York, is pleased to present a solo exhibition of the work of Leslie Shows, titled The New Dust, including painting, collage and drawing.

In the artist’s words, her latest work “comes out of a constellation of ideas around landscape painting, self-organizing matter, and the view of ‘things’ as aggregates. While these are for the most part landscapes, I am interested in the matter that constitutes the ground, and how it relates to human bodies and culture. I want to show matter as the principle actor, whether it’s as gold coursing through economies or teeth, or charcoal and pigment depicting dirt and mud.”

“In many of the pieces, I employ materials-as-themselves (paper scraps, text, rust, charcoal) and images (photographs of dust bunnies, a print of a brushstroke) to depict erosion, flow, oxidization, crystallization—they are collages not only of materials but of modes of representation.”

Echoing Robert Smithson’s statement that “vanished theories compose the strata of many forgotten books,” her paintings and collages assemble heterogeneous elements to evoke fragments of former worlds. To Shows, relations between stratifications in rocks, flows of culture, or layers of thought go beyond metaphorical associations to become identical mechanisms in different spheres. Reflection and symmetry, and references to dissolution and stability—most pregnant in her “Black Icebergs” series—also remind us of the precarious thrill of being alive.


Leslie Shows is a recipient the SECA Art Award, 2006. She has shown her work at SFMOMA, the California Biennial at OCMA, the Oakland Museum of California, Art Nova at Art Basel Miami, the Jack Hanley Gallery San Francisco and the Adobe Books Backroom, among other places.