Critics’ Picks

Subduction & Inscription Sites Where What Was Underground Is Shown on the Surface, 2004.

Subduction & Inscription Sites Where What Was Underground Is Shown on the Surface, 2004.

San Francisco

Leslie Shows

Jack Hanley Gallery
395/389 Valencia Street
July 16, 2013–July 9, 2005

In an assured solo debut, Leslie Shows combines her interests in social and environmental issues with obsessive hands-on methods to form collaged visions of a world in decline. The colors of her vast landscapes evoke oxidation, rust, strip-mined American vistas, yet Shows manages to dazzle by composing these works with incredible detail and the dramatic sweep of a geopolitical paradigm shift. Her works express a hard-to-fathom vision somewhere between utopia and dystopia, a retro future of corporate ruins, as well as a crafty environmentalism. The pieces themselves are acts of recycling, with passages articulated with pale confetti of hole-punched office paper (often broken down to fingernail clipping-sized slivers), lines carefully sliced from ruled notebook paper, tiny images from magazines and newspapers, grains of sand, and connective areas of painting and drawing. They are redolent of endless deserts, black holes and rubble piles, yet Shows combines these unsavory subjects with a haunting, dreamlike beauty. This is post-apocalyptic fantasy at its finest—or is it really a palpable vision of now?