AUGUSTA, GA.-Realist Paintings by Bryan LeBoeuf opens to the public on Saturday, July 26, and remains on view through Sunday, September 28, at the Morris Museum of Art in Augusta, Georgia. Organized by Morris Museum of Art curator Jay Williams, the exhibition includes ten large-scale, realist paintings by Louisiana native Bryan LeBoeuf.
The Morris Museum of Art is honored to host Bryan LeBoeufs first solo museum exhibition, commented Williams. I became acquainted with LeBoeufs work in the fall of 2005 when it was shown at 511 Gallery in New York and have followed it with great interest since. He is a young and talented artist whose technique is both meticulous and traditional, incorporating beautifully painted surfaces, careful composition, and almost baroque lighting effects.
Bryan LeBoeufs figurative oil paintings explore familiar relationships and memories of his Southern upbringing. LeBoeufs subject matter and techniques may be traditional in appearance, but his art is quite contemporary in its psychological and social implications. Many of his paintings suggest open-ended relationships between the figures he depictsoften parents, children, siblings, partners, and other family membersand their interactions with moody environments.
The energy of LeBoeufs paintings is a sign of the increasing vitality of figurative art in contemporary painting. Since the return of the figure to art in the 1960s and 1970s, figurative art has expanded in several directions, from the fragmented, nearly abstract, figures of Cecily Brown and the expressionistic figures of Lucian Freud to the cool, cerebral figures of Philip Pearlstein and the pop-influenced figures of Chuck Close. LeBoeuf and a few other, younger figurative painters have claimed a new place in this crowded spectrum, somewhere between twentieth-century French surrealism and nineteenth-century American genre painting. LeBoeufs paintings are filled with mystery and wonder, while remaining accessible and engaging.
I am a narrative person by nature, said LeBoeuf, and I am constantly wondering how I would tell the story. He continued, "The people I use for models in my paintings are not the characters being depicted in the paintings. It's very much like casting people for specific roles they will "play" in the work. For example, I used my brother and nephew as models for the painting Father to Son but the story or narrative of the painting is left open-ended. Part of the journey into and through the work is made by the viewer."
The artist: Born in Houma, Louisiana in 1975, Bryan LeBoeuf was raised in the Southeast. He received his BFA from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado and his MFA from the New York Academy of Art. He has exhibited in group shows in San Francisco, California; New York City and Brooklyn, New York; Thibodaux, Louisiana; and Houston, Texas. His work has been the subject of solo shows at the 511 Gallery in New York City and the Fish Tank Gallery in Brooklyn. He won the Prince of Wales Foundation Prize Traveling Grant (2001) and the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Award (2006). Several of his paintings have been acquired by the Forbes Collection. This is Bryan LeBoeufs first solo museum exhibition.