The Art of David A. Leas

The Art of David A. Leas

Runs: Sept. 5-30

public reception: Friday, September 23
6-8 p.m.
sponsored by Hundley Cellars

An American painter, born in Akron, Ohio in 1973, David grew up in a nearby suburb. His high school years in drawing and painting were under Abstract Expressionist Painter Ron Bayuzick. It was his senior year when his work was entered into the Ohio Governor’s Youth Art Exhibition. Which lead to being rewarded a Scholarship to attend the Columbus College of Art and Design. From 1992-1996, as a Fine Arts/Painting student David discovered the paper panel Homasote. A random dumpster find during a material search has become the foundation of his painting process.
Returning to Akron Ohio in 1997, David worked as a Part-time Assistant Preperator at the Akron Art Museum, as well as an independent Personal Gardener. This work was directly implemented into the studio painting process by using common tools found in the trades. Working with power tools on paper became an unintentional statement of irony. The panel allows for excavation and also supports the application of paint. Serving as a stable foundation for an aggressive approach. The etched surfaces are then coated in acrylic paint, polished with graphite and finally sealed in acrylic based glaze.

From 2016- 2019 David worked on a small series of “Filter Drawings” or paintings on reclaimed wine filters, made of Pearlite and Diatomaceous Earth pressed into a panel. After the wine is passed through the panels, he then uses similar methods to the Homasote paintings on a smaller, less aggressive scale.
David’s work is a response to his time in nature. A visual intake during work and labor, and also during travel within the United States. His interests in the landscape and that of the Impressionists, Minimalists and Color Field Painters. The paintings sometime take on a landscape composition with a line that is reminiscent of a horizon. These images are not of a specific place or architectural reference. All of the visual reference is constantly taken back to the the studio and later inferred within the system of making the paintings. The paintings become an experience for the viewer to relate their own worldly experience. David’s paintings have been collected since a student at C.C.A.D. to the present. Through his own independent exhibition efforts and also through representation of galleries nationally.
Reclaimed materials have been an important part of the statements within the work. From the history of Homasote and its intentions of recycling back in the early 1900’s. What we are doing now to save the earth from its destruction. An ongoing struggle to figure out what to do and what not to do. Who to help and how? These are generalities on the surface but if overlooked or overthought can lead to greater devastation. Yet with all of the issues and actives out of human control, we are left to find a place of rest and peace with it all. David’s paintings give a sense of serenity amongst chaos.

In 2016 David moved his painting studio from Akron to Geneva, Ohio.