Lee Cunliffe : Lee Cunliffe. 29 APRIL - 17 MAY 2008

Lee Cunliffe retreats from sarcasm, self-reference and comment on the art-world to present a suite of landscape paintings. Landscape painting is a path much trod by the popular art-world of Fischers Galleries etc, but avoided and derided by most critical artists. Painted en plein air, Lee’s landscapes are even more outmoded. Such a thoroughly mined territory as landscape painting is a tough one to push to new extremes and beat out a clear spot as one’s own. Lee isn’t necessarily trying to do that. He doesn’t take any part or point in painting as a particular spring board – not Dutch landscape painting, not impressionism, not expressionism, not early abstraction, nor pop, nor modernism – but elements of all of these can be found in his paintings. He is not directly making work about those sources, but draws from them, creating quiet, empty and harmonious spaces for the viewer to occupy. These works would probably fly beneath the radar of most people, except they are also beautiful and weird.

Lee Cunliffe graduated with a BFA in painting from the University of Canterbury in 2005. Since then he created artbash.co.nz, an online art-forum, which he continues to edit. This is his first solo exhibition.