LEONARD LEHRER is an American artist whose work has seen "a lengthy evolution of ideas and intent." Gardens have been a constant in Lehrer's artistic and personal journey. As a young man he studied the symmetry of the formal gardens of England and France, and artistically adhered to their ordered realm. Unexpectedly, his exposure to the Moorish gardens and domed ceiling of the Alhambra in southern Spain altered his course. "At the Alhambra, there is a human scale; you are integrated with the setting, not crushed by it. Subtle turns and twists produce continual discovery, rather than predictable views down the axis of traditional gardens."
Ten years ago, the process of discovery led Lehrer full circle to the genre of collage which he had explored as a graduate student. Through collaborative opportunities, he ventured into the high tech world and began creating large-scale, digitally pigmented collages. Spontaneous and reflective, the imagery - assembled from paintings, watercolors, and lithographs created throughout his career - suggests a connectivity of experiences. The translucent nature articulates the simultaneity of time - the idea that past, present and future occur at the same time - which is at the core of Lehrer's philosophy.
Collaboration, too, runs through Lehrer's work as a lithographer. For four decades, the artist has worked with master printer Wayne Kimball whose technical expertise Lehrer says is "at the virtuoso level; it has been said that he could print the wing of a gnat." A classic Bavarian limestone has travelled back and forth between the two recently. Lehrer creates the imagery on stone, then sends it to Kimball who prints the edition. Two series of small still lifes have emerged - sea shells, a subject Lehrer has often referenced in his work, and florals inspired by Manet's Last Flowers. Both marry lithographic impressions with watercolor tinting and capture the multi-sensory appeal that Lehrer masterfully conveys in any composition.