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Work Samples

From the Inside, Out

A large installation using long, thin paintings in black and white that hang in front of an angled wall, with a section of fluorescent orange paint on it. The b&w paintings contain pieces of a landscape - viewed from afar the image is nearly whole.
"From the Inside, Out", 2017, oil paint on synthetic paper installation, variable dimensions. This installation creates a visual separation between the man-made and the natural, particularly using color – black and white versus fluorescent – both artificial color palettes that contrast with each other in a way that is both distracting, and also beautiful. The work is a commentary on humankind's physical and conceptual divorce from nature, focusing on the dominant relationship people have with environment in today's world - which is through the window.

Cropping: The Ideal View

Miniature collages featuring landscape paintings and drawings which have cut-out architecture window shapes, and are then overlaid to create depth and abstraction of the depicted landscape.
"Cropping: The Ideal View", 2017, Collaged Prints on Archival Museum Board, Each 6"x6", appx. 28"x28" in grid. These works are displayed as a group, but are meant to be viewed closely, one by one. They are small and intricate images which reflect the similarly convoluted and distorted relationship between a viewer and a landscape in modern society. Our experiences with nature so often occur "though the window", morphing and changing our perception of the land itself.

Epitaph

A set of 9 black and white charcoal drawings, displayed in a grid. Each drawing depicts a landscape with a large, black architectural form cut out of the center.
"Epitaph", 2015, Charcoal on cut paper, appx. 72" x 80" in grid. These works are best seen in detail, since they are actually charcoal drawings which have been cut - the architectural forms which appear in black, are actually cut out of the physical drawing, and the empty space shows through to a black layer several inches behind the drawing. Shadow plays an important role in the display of this work. The architectural forms become a somber stamp, left by humanity on the natural environment. Irreparable and jarring, they prevent us from seeing the full picture.

From the Inside, Out: Porthole Landcsapes

Series of small watercolor paintings displayed together. Each shows a small circular "window", through which to view a landscape beyond. The landscapes interact with architectural forms that enter the field of view in different forms.
"Porthole Landscapes" (From the Inside, Out), 2017, Watercolor on Mounted Paper, Each 11.75"x11.75"x1.75". These small watercolors are made as a series, but are meant to be seen intimately and in close range. Each hold a small tondo painting, confined to a small "window" through which we can view a landscape. Each landscape contains both natural and manmade elements, which are in some ways at odds with one another, but also in harmony.

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About Leah

Howard County

Leah Lewman is an artist whose current work focuses on the visual relationship between a viewer and a landscape when an architectural window separates the two. Lewman has exhibited her work in spaces across the country, including the 2012 National Juried Exhibition at the Art Institute & Gallery in Salisbury, MD, featuring juror Ethan Karp of the OK Harris Gallery in New York; Landscape at Escape Velocity, a 2015 Exhibition at Fine Arts Complex 1101 in Tempe, AZ; and the 2016 Wet Paint MFA Biennial... more

From the Inside, Out

The relationship between landscape and architectural structure is a complex one. Humans created buildings to ultimately provide one basic function: shelter. The desert of the American southwest presents a unique situation in this regard. The architecture not only protects inhabitants from the harsh climate, in many cases it also opens up to the landscape by way of large, pane-less windows that bring the landscape in, while keeping the heat out. My work explores the tension created from this visual divide between man and nature. It reflects my recent experience of three years living in Arizona.

I use a combination of installation and 2D works to mimic, but also stretch and manipulate the relationship between a viewer and their surroundings. The focus is on the architectural structure of the window, situating the viewer apart from a natural “beyond.” By using layers of paint, collaged layers of paper, and forced visual perspective in the case of installations, I create a visual divide between the spectator and their subject. The painted landscape, a beautified and idyllic image of what we think nature is, lies just beyond our reach – visible but also obstructed and inaccessible. The intimate architectural space now creates a complex barrier from a much wider outside universe. Oriented within this space, the viewer is asked to evaluate their own relationship to the land and sky surrounding them beyond the walls. Through this work, I question whether we can truly consider ourselves a part of nature anymore.

Cropping: The Ideal View

This series of miniature, laser-cut collages reflect a very specific part of our relationship with nature - the part that likes to prune and pick what we want to see of our environment, and cut out everything we don't. As our species has grown and expanded, we have become accutsomed to having control over practically everything. From our homes, where they are built, which landscapes they look out upon, to our gardens, our streets, canyons, rivers, mountains, we have figured out how to fix any "problem" that the land poses to our societal needs. This maticulously detailed series reflects the very tedious pruning we do to our surroundings. Framing within our homes only the parts of the landscape we would like to see every day.

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Leah's Curated Collection

This artist has not yet created a curated collection.