Leigh Wells: Tensile Strength

Sep 03 - Oct 22, 2022

Saturdays 12-5pm First Fridays, 5-8pm + by appointment

473 25th Street

Oakland, CA 94612

Event Website

Leigh Wells creates abstract paper collage and collage-like paintings on pieced textiles that consist of simple, restrained forms. She considers her practice as one of restoration and repair; finding wholeness in the fragmented. Wells intentionally incorporates ambiguity into her work to heighten its expressive tension - i.e. the works presented for Fourth Wall Gallery simultaneously evoke a sense of vulnerability and groundedness. The show title, Tensile Strength, refers to "the resistance of a material to breaking under tension.” For Wells, these works, ultimately, represent a timeless, internal strength that can not be broken.

SF/Arts Curator Insight

Raw canvas, wrinkled and lightly painted. Solid blocks of color - gray, pale gold, sky blue, faded red, moss green - taken apart and then lovingly stitched back together to form new shapes. Wells' works remind me of mending a relationship or constructing a new identity. Maybe it's their delicate simplicity or the slight melancholy of the palette, but there is something stoic about these minimalist sewn collages that are quietly stronger than the sum of their parts.

Mark Taylor

SF/Arts Curator

The Fourth Wall Contemporary Art Gallery

473 25th St.



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