Friday, August 30, 2019

Leah Rainey: Surface Shape, September 6th - 29th, 2019


We are proud to present Surface Shape, Leah Rainey's first solo exhibition at Dianna Witte Gallery. Rainey is a Canadian painter who lives and works in Toronto, Ontario. She studied at Loughborough College of Art and holds a BA Hons in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art, London. In 2013, Rainey’s work was exhibited at The Power Plant in More Than Two (Let it Make Itself),curated by Micah Lexier, and in 2015 she was included in a juried group show at the Thames Art Gallery (Chatham), curated by Sky Glabush. She has been represented by Dianna Witte Gallery since 2016. 

We invite you to join us for an opening reception on Friday September 6th from 7-9PM.

Leah Rainey’s paintings are visual manifestations of our peripheral vision, like stills of something you see out of the corner of your eye. 
The balance between space and information are imprints of what we unconsciously register. In other words, Rainey captures the uncapturable, translating it into abstract shapes and surfaces that hint at its original source material.
In this recent body of work, Rainey makes paintings of paintings, creating meta-images based in and of paint, rather than reality. Her paintings are made up of fragments of various paintings, evoking a shattered mirror: each piece reflects a different surface, while the canvas itself is its own surface. Just like a mirror, Rainey’s paintings reflect its source material. By referencing small scraps and discarded cast offs of old paintings, while trying to recreate their texture and shape on a larger scale, Rainey distances the final product from the original source, culminating in a faint memory of its origin.

The process-based methods of Rainey’s paintings coalesce in multiple surfaces within one canvas, switching between direct painting to distressed surfaces with ease. The colour within the works are highly saturated, built up through multiple layers, and yet Rainey’s relationship with those colours remains restrained. This communication between limited palettes and nuanced surfaces balance the paintings and creates a sense of harmony. 

Each painting in Surface Shape can be viewed individually, but the repetition of forms throughout the series accumulates into something bigger. A thread weaves throughout the series—visual clues repeat throughout the canvases—connecting the paintings. A visual language emerges. The act of decoding each surface, Rainey’s visual language, and processing a context you don't quite understand becomes an integral part of the work. 

Rainey’s paintings translate the movement of life, and that which is left behind, into a single image; like the out-takes of a silent film contained within a single canvas.