The exhibition, the artist’s thirteenth with the gallery, will include recent twelve-inch diameter tondo paintings and acrylics on paper taken from his sketchbooks of this past summer. Most are scenes painted from life in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Lenaghan is best known for his deep space and comprehensively rendered street views of industrial Brooklyn and downtown Manhattan, making this exhibition is a significant departure for the artist. He typically avoids making studies, instead working on-site to compose directly on the panel. In the course of this past summer, however, Lenaghan began to work out of small sketchbooks that were not only convenient for their portability but allowed him to work quickly and spontaneously, without attracting attention on busy street corners. The results range from brief notational sketches to fully rendered views though uniformly small in scale. Contrasted with the paintings on panels, the work on paper has a freedom and responsiveness that emphasizes their casual, experimental nature.
Over the past two years, Lenaghan has been exploring the relationship between how we see and how to represent perspectival space. Recently he has been experimenting with a circular frame, both in an attempt to more closely emulate the natural curve of the eye’s lens and to undermine preconceptions about space and perspective inherent to a rectangle. While the subjects in these paintings will be familiar to anyone who knows Lenghan’s work, this fresh approach is a reframing in more ways than one.