Carroll Todd & Leslie Holt

by - January 28, 2017

Carroll Todd & Leslie Holt
Opening Reception Friday, February 3, 6-8pm
David Lusk Gallery, Memphis


31 January - 11 March, 2017
OPENING: Friday 3 February, 6-8pm

In late January Carroll Todd returns to David Lusk Gallery–Memphis. His new show, Soliloquy, is comprised of representational constructed bronze sculptures – often modeled on life but in the end based in illusion.

Todd uses precisely formed and welded sheet bronze to explore his child-like wonderment of nature in a manner clearly inspired by modernist sculpture. Starting with a sketch, and once the abstract and figurative elements are established on paper, the work evolves into a small maquette to engineer the effortless bends and folds the bronze assumes on a larger scale. Then he meticulously cuts, rolls, bends, forms and welds the sheet bronze. Finally, after application of patinas and wax, the result is precision, elegance and grace rarely found in metal works.

The show’s title, Soliloquy, speaks to Todd’s ability to animate his own language through the representation of everyday symbols. Some are easily understood for what they are – an insect or a fishing bob, however, some elements walk a fine line between representation and abstraction. In Wake, a powder blue base suggestive of water supports a large steamboat in profile. Two large, ominous smoke clouds extend from the boat, mimicking the curves of the water below. The cartoon nature of the image feels playful and childlike, however the darker reality of environmental repercussions soon set in.

Todd’s work is included in public collections at The Arkansas Arts Center, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Little Rock Airport, Rockefeller Center, Tennessee State Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art – Amsterdam. He is a graduate of Memphis College of Art and holds an MFA from Cornell University.


31 January - 11 March, 2017
OPENING: Friday 3 February, 6-8pm
TALK: Saturday 4 February, 11am

In late January the third Leslie Holt solo exhibition goes up at David Lusk Gallery–Memphis. Her exhibition, Unspeakable, explores depictions of grief and triumph in a series of embroidered paintings that feature art-historic images of strong women.

Holt imagined the Unspeakable series while studying Guernica, Picasso’s famous response to the bombing of a small Spanish town. Holt states, “I feel compelled to return to this painting again and again, as it conveys extreme emotions for which words are insufficient.”

After acrylic-staining unprimed canvas Holt embroiders the woman image, working in a network of clumps and lines. “Much like washing my aging mother’s hair,” Holt says, “the stitches require careful attention and a slow pace. The activity is simple but full. A lot is left unspoken.”

The daunting stains of thinned acrylic pigment hover near Holt’s figures, speaking to a wordless memory or truth. Reminiscent of Kathe Kollwitz’s depictions of grieving women in times of unspeakable loss, Holt’s images take on a more abstract approach to grief. The bright colors and graphic lines work to partially disguise a darker reality and origin. Despite the historic connections, each Holt woman relates to the universal and personal, representing either a shared reality of the past or a more personal one in the present.

Holt received her BFA from Washington University and MFA from Washington State University. Along with several solo exhibitions across the country and a recent review in the Washington Post, and a feature in the book Pink Globalization: Hello Kitty’s Trek Across the Pacific by Christine Yano.

David Lusk Gallery is located at 97 Tillman. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Friday 10-5:30 and Saturday 11-4. For more information or visuals please contact Amelia Briggs at 901 767 3800 or

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