Infinite Horizons: Abelardo López and Leigh Anne Lester

June 11 – August 1, 2015

The expansive landscapes of Abelardo López echo the title of the exhibition, presenting eternal vistas of fields, mountain, and sky that imagine infinite, ordered realms of pastoral serenity. Leigh Anne Lester’s intricate floral fantasies beguile with a contrasting vision: incredible multi-species hybrids rendered with a delicate hand, their delightful effulgence belying the warning of genetic engineering mishaps or possible effects of environmental degradation.

From Oaxaca, Mexico, Abelardo López portrays the cultivated valley of his native land in rich impasto that sculpts the surface of his canvases, adding an immediate, tactile element to scenes that hover in the middle to far distance. Depicted without traces of human habitation or figures, these idealized landscapes are yet imbued with human presence. Oaxaca maintains a rich agricultural tradition that has extended from centuries before European contact. López revels in presenting the balance between nature and man that has resulted from countless seasons of plantings, capturing often in his depictions the lush months before harvest.

Based in San Antonio, Texas, Leigh Anne Lester combines bits and pieces of wildly divergent species grafted together, the results of genetic modification plans. Utilizing historical botanical drawings as source images, Lester makes delicate graphite drawings on Mylar, layering the film to create composite images, to which she adds additional layers of cells blocked in colored pencil to symbolize the manipulated genome of the plant. Mixing a blown-up view of the microscopic with the naturalistic botanicals, the result runs López’s evocation of infinite distance in reverse.

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