Luis De Jesus Los Angeles presents TRISTRAM LANSDOWNE: Digressions, the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery.
The impetus behind Digressions was Lansdowne’s read of Laurence Sterne’s The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, an 18th century novel after which he is named. Lansdowne was particularly struck by the novel’s innovative nonlinear narrative in which humorous digressions are incorporated within the plot to reveal essential truths about the protagonist. Intrigued by this structure, the artist sought to engage this format on a visual scale and applied this practice to his own work. The viewer’s experience of spatial depth makes or breaks these paintings which largely hinge on the edges and transitions between images.
Thematically, Lansdowne explores the various traditions of framing within the art historical canon – from the illusionism found in the murals of Pompeii, the realism of Flemish Renaissance painting, the techniques of American neoclassicism, and finally the pictorial depth of modern art. The trompe-l’oeil employed in Jan van Eyck’s altarpieces, specifically the renderings of statuary in recessed framed spaces, were particularly important to Lansdowne. He approaches the combination of images intuitively, guided by a strategy of loose association and visual rhymes, focusing on tactile and textural connections while avoiding any symbolic intent. The resulting paintings depict ambiguous and illusory spaces that are amalgamations of history, perspective, lighting, and dimensionality.
Tristram Lansdowne (b. 1983, Victoria, BC) is a visual artist whose work primarily engages in the historical and cultural representation of organized space and architecture. He received a MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2016 and a BFA from the Ontario College of Art and Design in 2007. His work has been included in solo and group exhibitions at the Musée d’art contemporain des Laurentides, Saint-Jerome, QC; Kitchener Waterloo Art Gallery, Kitchener, ON; Bonnington Gallery, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham UK; Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon, SK; Southern Alberta Gallery, Lethbridge, AB; Boston Center for the Arts, Boston, MA; Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Tonronto, ON; among others. His work can be found in various public collections including the National Gallery of Canada, Kitchener Waterloo Art Gallery, the Microsoft Corporate Collection, among others. Lansdowne lives and works in Toronto.
Installation view, Tristram Lansdowne: Digressions at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles, September 17 - October 29, 2022