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Leslie Poole: Women/Power

Marilyn Mylrea Studio Art Gallery
Vancouver BC – Jun 10-Jul 3, 2005

Leslie Poole - The Night the Moon
Leslie Poole, The Night the Moon (2004), acrylic, graphite and pencil
crayon on canvas [Marilyn Mylrea Studio Art Gallery, Vancouver BC, Jun 10-Jul 3]

New Westminster artist Leslie Poole was born in 1942 in Halifax, Nova Scotia and earned an M.A. from Yale University in 1970. He is one of Canada’s most extensively recognized and collected artists with over 100 solo exhibitions in Canada and the United States.

The images in Poole’s new series, Women/Power, were inspired by the Las Meninas paintings by Velazquez (1656) and Picasso (1957). Picasso devoted an entire series of paintings to variations of Las Meninas and its central characters in the late 1950s. These paintings have raised numerous questions about issues of aesthetics, power, politics and presentation.

Ostensibly about maids of honour to the 17th century Infanta Margarita, daughter of the Spanish king Philip IV, Velasquez’ Las Meninas has been interpreted in the three hundred and fifty years since its painting by many different schools of thought in art, science, mathematics, religion and sociology. For its stark depiction of reality, Las Meninas is considered a masterpiece. Marxist interpretations focus on the subtle contrasts between rich and poor; feminists on the depiction of female power residing in the infanta; Picasso on her innocence; and deconstructionists on the micropolitical implications. Poole, like Picasso, offers his own fascinating reading of the themes and implications of this famous painting through mixed media – including acrylics, graphite and oil pastel on canvas and paper.


Mia Johnson

 Tue, May 31, 2005