Bartley + Company Art is pleased to present Marie Le Lievre's first solo exhibition in the gallery.
It seems appropriate to introduce her work with the words of critic John Hurrell:
Let the intensely pleasurable experience of looking at these paintings be the only focus...
Hurrell (eyecontactsite.com) has also described Le Lievre as having an "extraordinary ability to manipulate liquid paint into mesmerising sensual surfaces on canvas".
Of course, there is more underlying the sumptuous depths of her surfaces than meets the eye - a whole 60 years of debate around the connotations and relevance of this kind of painting. Yet, as many have pointed out, despite predictions to the contrary abstract expressionism has continued to play out as a field of investigation for artists. The June 2011 issue of Artforum had a special section dedicated to an exploration of the "historical nuances and the contemporary persistence of AbEx". Le Lievre clearly references these issues while quietly taking her own personal, physical satisfaction in the act of painting. Christchurch based she has painted steadily over the past year and some of her titles, for example the barbiturates allude to the role painting has played in her life in this time.
Marie Le Lievre completed a Master of Fine Arts with distinction at the University of Canterbury in 2008. She has exhibited in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch and was included in the Christchurch Art Gallery's 2009 exhibition of emerging painters. Her work is in private and public collections including the University of Canterbury, Christchurch Art Gallery and Fletcher Challenge Corporation. She will exhibit in Sydney and Paris later in 2012.
A text by critic Andréw Paul Wood on Le Lievre's work is available on request to the gallery.