John Lessore

John Lessore describes his paintings and "gentle and contemplative" and they are almost musical constructions with simple, often domestic subject matter. However, contrary to these initial impressions, Lessore is in many ways an extremist. He holds the view that in painting, it is all there if you have the eyes to see it ? that no other medium allows such depth of expression, whether the quarry be emotion, psychology or philosophy, than painting. He rejects meaningless shock value and art bureaucracy and retains a focus so rigorous that he may be considered, if not extreme, then certainly the exception as opposed to the rule.

John Lessore's paintings have a remarkable intimacy and it is no wonder we can identify with them as the interiors from which most of the paintings in this exhibition derive their subject matter are of course familiar in some way to all of us. We all have families, kitchen tables and live somewhere. Sometimes an aspect of the subject matter derives from art history, which may strike a chord within us whether consciously or not, as Lessore looks to the history painting of the old masters to solve complex problems of composition and form.

His paintings display the touch of a superb draughtsman and this ability to draw allows him to explore the architecture of his chosen scenes with relative ease. He finds a "key signature" somewhere along the way and settles the painting into that flow, whether it be a quiet interior in the Midi of France or a comparatively high-pitched street crossing using the colour and drama of the streets of Peckham as inspiration. The result is that the paintings draw you in and at times one finds themselves equally interested in the table around which figures may be sitting as the figures themselves.

Lessore has stated that "every painter thinks about light in different ways" and he wonders if his whole life has been affected by a phrase he read when he was young about Titian's paintings being "bathed in golden light". Whether it be a burnt umber, a yellow or a more sombre grey, Michael Peppiatt is right - these paintings actually gleam.

John Lessore's approach is that anything can happen on a given day, and whether there is a painting germinating or not, there are memorable moments in the ordinary all around us if we choose to have the eyes to see. His vision allows us to see similar scenes in our own life differently, to be on the lookout so to speak, because every day has the monumental in the minutiae, life is random, unexpected and exciting, a fact that John Lessore embraces and through his art allows us to do the same.


John Lessore
From UK - paintings
28 Sept - 29 Oct 2005

Exhibition features:

« back to previous page

Please note, works in previous exhibitions may no longer be available, please visit our stockroom for available works