Thursday Feature: Leona Christie
Ballpoint pen and gouache on paper
22 x 30 inches (56 x 76 cm)
Leona Christie’s “Untitled” drawing in ballpoint pen and gouache is a signature work of the artist. Linear marks form the image depicting the sweetness of womanhood in an impeccable execution of beauty, bliss and liberty - all on a sci-fi backdrop. Seemingly appropriated from a turn-of-the century digital paradise with flowing curvaceous geometry, the composition can be compared with 19th century master paintings of mythological feminine deities frolicking in the clouds; or ornate forms, protruding to and fro, as seen in the Art Nouveau epic (late 19th-early 20th centuries ) or the dreamy worlds often witnessed in Surrealism. In Christie’s untitled drawing, she represents six beauties, yet one-in-the-same. A woman moves through space and time, animated in shades of grey and verging on bluish tones. She shifts, stares and sings in the skyward atmosphere. She further dwells, meditates and reflects on her free spirited nature in various gestures, amidst funneling transparent, circular and intertwining forms. A surprising aspect of the drawing is the space Christie is able to generate via the figures, the “wormholes,” distances and curvilinear motifs. It is a wondrous world of the force of femininity.
Leona Christie is Associate Professor of Printmaking at SUNY ALBANY. Her drawings, animations, and prints have been exhibited at the Drawing Center (Manhattan); Boston University’s Sherman Art Gallery; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco);the New York Video Festival at Lincoln Center, at the Tyler School of Art Gallery and in galleries in the US and Europe. Her works have been reviewed or reproduced in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The Village Voice, Modern Painters, and Art-Land (Copenhagen), among other publications. Christie has been awarded artist residencies at Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, and the Frans Masereel Center for Graphic Arts (Belgium), and she received a Fellowship at the Kala Printmaking Institute in Berkeley, California. In 2011 and 2005, she received New York Foundation for the Arts Special Opportunity Grants, and in 2000, she received the Bay Area Visual Artist Award from New Langton Arts, San Francisco. Her work is in collections such as the New York Public Library, the Achenbach Collection of Graphic Arts in the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco as well as numerous private collections.