Wayne Edge and Leslie Holt

by - September 03, 2013

River of Stars
Wayne Edge
Opening Friday, September 6, 6-8pm
Talk Saturday, September 7, 11am
September 4 - October 12

Help Yourself
Leslie Holt
Opening Friday, September 6, 6-8pm
Talk Saturday, September 7, 11am
September 4 - October 12

Wayne Edge looks upwards to the universe and its stars for inspiration in his fall 2013 wall sculpture exhibition, titled River of Stars, at David Lusk Gallery. The term Amanogawa is a Japanese phrase for “river of stars,” a poetic description of the Milky Way. Edge interprets that term with found materials weightlessly lashed together. 

Edge has long made sculptural works out of natural objects that reference organic elements of Earth. He binds thin wooden sticks together with pieces of organic material (rocks, glass, stones, shells and the like) into dynamic sculptural works. Stick by stick the sculptures curve upward and outward, allowing the eye to move rhythmically from one end of the piece to the other, all the while giving the viewer a sense of tranquility and space. 

In the his mind the galaxy is like a river flowing around the Earth. Edge defines this departure from Earth’s natural beauty to the sky as “an exploration into a fascination with the stars.” One that is greatly attributed to his childhood spent mostly outdoors. 

In the July/August 2013 issue of FIX magazine writer Molly Fromkin interviews Edge candidly: “Science has been a lifelong passion for Edge, but as he laughingly admits, ‘My math isn’t the best, so I was never going to be a scientist.’ Instead, he includes elements of the phenomena that so fascinate him in his sculpture. ‘I love science, I love to visualize all these things –photons, atoms, the moon and the stars.” 

Aside from the organic quality of his work, Edge is also renowned for breathing new life into material that is often considered scrap. In this exhibition he utilizes locally grown and sustainable poplar and walnut and he is exploring the use of applied color – both with painted wood and found objects. 

Edge grew up in Memphis and graduated from the Memphis College of Art. Memphis is still his home, and his midtown studio is a mass of collected objects and sticks waiting to become art. 

This fall Leslie Holt features three new bodies of small scale work at David Lusk Gallery in an exhibition titled Help Yourself. The show has three distinct components: realistic cake and cupcake impasto oil paintings; Skittles paintings; and embroidered renderings of 1970s self-help book covers. Holt describes all three groups as “post-party letdown.” 

In her dessert paintings, Holt captures the complex feelings of a child’s birthday party coming to an end. The depiction of highly texturized hunks of cake, frosting and cake crumbs are intensified by a thick application of paint. The paint becomes an excessive dollop of rich frosting, equally hard as the stale crumbs that have fallen off the plate. This heightens the realistic quality of the work, and in turn the depressing sentiment of a party’s end. Not only is the party is over – but also the feeling of guilt creeps in as the excitement of excessive gifts, food and vanity dissipates. 

In the Skittle paintings Holt loses the thick paint in favor of glossy acrylic to mimic the classic candy’s hyper-colored surfaces. Almost as though they fell from the bag her Skittles spell outdated children’s phrases of disgust and disdain, like up your nose and barf. 

In the third sub-group Holt pokes fun at the pervasive self help movement, that is arguably most often targeted at women. Titles of book covers like Fat is a Feminist Issue: a Self-Help Guide for Compulsive Eaters or The Power of Positive Thinking are embroidered onto barely colored canvases. Using embroidery, a traditional feminine medium, reinforces the question of why women are the targets of the self-help industry. 

Holt, who lives outside of Washington, DC, received her BFA in painting from Washington University, St. Louis, and her MFA from Washington State University, Pullman. She is recognized far and wide for her miniature copies of masterpiece paintings including Hello Kitty appropriately inserted into the action.

David Lusk Gallery is located in Laurelwood Shopping Center between Perkins Extended and Grove Park. Gallery hours are Tu-Fr 10-5:30, and Sa 11-4. For further information or visuals, contact Brittney Shedden at 901-767-3800 or Brittney@davidluskgallery.com.

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