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The FLAG Art Foundation is pleased to announce the launch of its Summer Hamptons Art Residency Program (SHARP) for 2011. This unique program supports emerging artists by offering an idyllic space to work and live in the Hamptons on Long Island, New York. The picturesque seaside towns and the lush forests that surround them have long provided a refuge from the bustle of New York City and have inspired several generations of iconic artists, from Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning to Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol to Chuck Close and Eric Fischl. This summer's six-week residency will be in a private farmhouse in Sagaponack.
The inaugural SHARP recipient will be Los Angeles-based painter Lesley Vance. Lesley Vance's paintings are visual, philosophical, and historical inquiries into the still life genre, embodied as abstract works that map the valences of paint as a physical substance. The relationship between painted surface and depicted still life is treated as a material fact in itself, a fact which is subjected to the studio process and eventually supplants the still life as the compositional––and conceptual––structure for the work. In Vance's paintings, abstraction becomes a kind of alchemical force that negotiates the transformation of one substance (the depicted object) into another (pure paint). The painting is the document of this process, a portrait of the transubstantiation of nature morte into an independent artwork. Viewed as an inversion of the notion of still life as vanitas, or a reminder of mortality, the practice reflects an ongoing continuum of formal innovations and possibilities. As such, each work asserts not only the relevance of painting as a medium, but also the real-time activation of its history.
Stephanie Roach, FLAG's Director, adds, "We are so pleased to be entering this new phase of FLAG's development and could not be more excited to have Lesley as our first SHARP recipient. We look forward to seeing how her vision and work are affected by the beautiful Hamptons environment."
Vance is represented by David Kordansky Gallery in Los Angeles. Her work was recently included in the 2010 Whitney Biennial, as well as Triumphant Carrot: The Persistence of Still Life, Vancouver Contemporary Art Gallery; Sam Moyer & Lesley Vance & Stan VanDerBeek, The Front Room, Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis; and Lesley Vance and Ricky Swallow at The Suburban, Chicago.