Jim Leedy is an international artist in terms of his interests and achievements. He is an artist who crosses boundaries between materials and genres, representation and abstraction, art and music, creativity, and scholarship. His diverse and unique talents have led him to a lifetime of accomplishment in clay, painting, public art, works-on-paper, prints, assemblages, installations, and performance.
Eyewitness to the birth of the New York School, Leedy's paintings emerge from Abstract Impressionism, with a sense of materiality, surface, structure, and veiled figuration. With a graduate study of Asian art history at Columbia University, he created a hybrid of Abstract Expessionismand Oriental pottery which is central to his oeuvre in clay. Chinese tripod bronzes and Japanese folk pottery were reinterpreted with an informal American twist that established him s an early leader in the American Clay Revolution.
Never satisfied with the status quo, his career has been a lifetime of exploration and chance-taking that has occasionally put him on the outside of major art movements, while often anticipating them. He continues to break ground in processes, materials, and subject matter that is unique to his times and personal like.
"I try to forget everything I have learned, and attempt to flow with nature."
Adapted from Jim Leedy: Artist Across Boundaries, by Matthew Kangas, University of Washington Press, 2000.
Celebrating Ninety Trips Around the Sun
Paintings by Jim Leedy
September 4 - October 31, 2020
I attempt to ignore everything I have learned when I am creating. I try to become one with nature, to flow freely as a tree grows on a stream flows, directed only by the forces of resistance that nature has established.
Of course, learned information can never be completely erased from my activity since I am the result of everything that I have learned until this moment. But, by not consciously using collective information, I attempt to work intuitively. Nature itself is a collection of events tracing back to the beginning of time. Therefore, everything is the total sum of all that has preceded. By working uninhibitedly, I hope to create work that is not contrived, while revealing process using all elements of creation from the mark of my hands and tools to the evidence of flame striking the work during firing.
Truth is my goal and truth is beauty.