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Leah Guadagnoli

Guadagnoli’s three-dimensional wall-based constructions are firmly rooted within the historical context of geometric design through disparate influences as Egyptian hieroglyphics, Islamic and Gothic stained glass, Bauhaus and Swahili architecture, Art Deco and The Memphis Group.

Inspired by the patterns and surfaces which recollect the gaudy carpets, seating, and walls found in the waiting rooms and airports, casinos and movie theaters of decades past, Guadagnoli’s work suggests a deliberately ambiguous nostalgia—some works may recall the ’80s and ’90s, others the ’50s and ’60s. The past and present are combined and act as reminders of what we were, who we are, and who we might become.

Assertively jutting from the wall (often by more than a half-foot), her multi-paneled sculptural paintings break from the traditional picture frame, effectively blurring the line between painting and object. In conjunction with painted canvas, her work employs varied unorthodox materials including: printed fabric, upholstery, and polyurethane foam. These brazen, playful abstractions resist art-historical distinctions between high and low usually associated with serious contemporary painting.

The boisterous physicality of her shaped canvases meld the geometric and the abstract, revealing a brash, dissonant visual language. Their eye-popping sunburned anti-aesthetic challenges formal assumptions regarding taste, exclusivity, and social engineering.

Leah Guadagnoli

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