John Lees @ Betty Cuningham

John Lees, Man Sitting in an Armchair, 2008-2015, oil on canvas, 42 x 36 inches
John Lees, Man Sitting in an Armchair, 2008-2015, oil on canvas, 42 x 36 inches (courtesy of Betty Cuningham Gallery)

Charles Kessler blogs about paintings and drawings by John Lees at Betty Cuningham Gallery, New York, on view through November 28, 2015.

Kessler writes: "[Lees] builds up the paint, scrapes it off, sands it down, and works into it again and again, piling up the paint so much that it becomes a palpable physical presence. The result is a crusty, fragmented image embedded in the rough, craggy paint surface. Memory is frequently the subject of John's art, or, more accurately, he paints the experience of remembering. Man Sitting in an Armchair, for example, is a memory of his father; and, like a memory, the images are fleeting and hazy, slowly coalescing to reveal more and more detail the longer you stay with it."