James English Leary (b.1982 in Chicago, US) in an artist and filmmaker living and working in New York City.
The paintings of James English Leary pit figuration against abstraction invoking metaphors that nurse (and satirize) camp-psychological states in the viewer. Rather than “painting the paintings” Leary constructs them out of painting’s component parts (stretcher, fabric, color, in that order) often employing a shaped substrate. The resulting image-objects and their buoyant overtures towards a “language” humorously engages the problems of how to “read” a painting and conjure the art experience as a slapstick rorschach, a drama of legibility, which hinges on the impossibility of making a shape that doesn’t eventually refer back to something of this world.
Recent solo shows include: 'James English Leary | Small Fishes Swim Around Inside of Large Fishes', Galerie Lisa Kandlhofer, Vienna, 2019; 'Another Family Romance', Galerie Lisa Kandlhofer, Vienna, 2018; 'Hoi Polloi', Nathalie Karg Gallery, New York, 2018; 'Half a Mississippi Steamboat', Andersen's, Copenhagen, 2018; 'The Bursting Grape', Galerie Lisa Kandlhofer, Vienna, 2017.
Recent group shows include: 'Orphans of Painting II', Ethan Cohen Beacon NY, New York, 2019; 'Flat Out: Drawings, 2000–2019', Mana Contemporary, Jersey City, 2019; 'André Azevedo & James English Leary', SIM Galeria, Curitiba, 2017
Leary was a recipient of a 2015 Tiffany Foundation Award and was a resident of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation in Captiva, Florida. He is an adjunct professor at The Cooper Union in New York City and a founding member of The Bruce High Quality Foundation and the Bruce High Quality Foundation University, a free arts university operating in New York City. The Foundation’s works have been included in Greater New York at MOMA Ps1, The 2010 Whitney Biennial and The Sundance Film Festival.