Specializing in Thai & Asian Contemporary Art


H Gallery is very pleased to announce a solo exhibition of paintings by Bangkok émigré artist Lesley Dumbrell. A leading member of the women’s art movement in Australia during the 1970s, Dumbrell’s longstanding practice of meticulously rendering patterns explore an expansive approach to abstraction. While suggesting mechanical or digital reproduction, the artist’s sharp lines and clean forms hint at multiple significance and resonances. We are invited to become lost within the entangled pictorial spaces and a wide and dazzling palette.
Meridians also introduces new sculptural works that extend relationships between the perceptual and experiential.
Dumbrell’s practice is primarily based in exploring diversity in the affective impact of color, though which her compositional structures move and meld. Originally inspired by extensive travels where the artist recognized infinite variations of hue and tone, the variable cultural significance of color is also an important source of inquiry. The artworks are primarily based on the pattern of a grid and from which she painstakingly creates lines in complementary and counter directions. Radical relationships in color then play with our perception of weight and space, shaping a layered dynamism across the deceptively flat surfaces.
Meridians embraces a waywardness from the ‘pure’ forms of mathematical precision and implied objectiveness to generously allow for cultural references and emotional impact: from the implications of textile design and decorative arts to the aesthetics of spirituality. Canonical appraisals of twentieth century modernist painting, which were vibrant when Dumbrell emerged from art school in the early 1960s, have been debated in terms of how artists use edge, surface and illusion in painting. Modernist abstraction, in theory, resisted a reproduction of the visible world and pursued an autonomous language and logic. Subsequent generations of artists have grappled with how to imagine differently within and beyond the frame as a key means of negotiating this history and our contemporaneity.
Soliciting manifold affects, Dumbrell allows us to contemplate the question of how art can be separated from the world. Or how this might be an impossible conceit. Looking on, through and beyond her paintings we can begin to wonder how one ends and the other begins. The artist’s new use of sculpture further shapes insights into the conscious and unconscious impact of color, prompting a spectrum of associations and relations.
Lesley Dumbrell is based in Bangkok and a graduate of Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT). She has lectured at RMIT, Victorian College of the Arts and Prahran Art College. Solo exhibitions include Powell Street Gallery (1973 – 79), Melbourne; Gallery A (1978-85), Sydney; Christine Abrahams Gallery (1981-1999), Melbourne; Annandale Gallery (1990-2017), Sydney; and Shades of Light 1971-1999 at the Ian Potter Museum of the Art University of Melbourne. Group exhibitions include Moravian International (1974), Bethlehem, USA; the traveling Six Women Painters (1976); Betty Cunningham Gallery (1981-1982), New York; Color and Transparency (1985), National Gallery Victoria; Legacy of Op Art in Australia (2002), Heide Museum of Art, Melbourne; After 65: The Legacy of Op (2015), LaTrobe Regional Gallery, Victoria; and Abstraction: Celebrating Australian Women Abstract Artists (2017) at the Geelong Regional Gallery of Victoria. Dumbrell’s awards include Georges Invitation Award (1977), Camden Municipal Art Festival Award (1979), Alice Prize, Northern Territory (1983) and the 1996 MacGregor Fellowship at the University of Melbourne. She was a member of the Art Board of the Australia Council from 1981-1984.


Recent Paintings by Lesley Dumbrell
October 25, 2017 – January 28, 2018