Contemporary Artists

'My work is a re-configuration of the built landscape, using photographs I’ve taken around the area I live in as source material. The drawings are an exploration of the idea of the sublime applied to the contemporary landscape. Juxtaposed within the drawings are elements that are beautiful, awkward, enigmatic, familiar, strange, ordered, and random. Aesthetically, within the work there are experiments with language, geometry, the rules of perspective, and the illusion of depth, among other formal qualities. The drawings function as visual puzzles and as imaginary worlds, both utopian and dystopian. '


Leigh-Day-to-Night 5

Leigh Tarentino was born in 1968, in Albany (USA), which she describes as “an industrial area of upstate New York, which was gritty, fairly mundane and a little disappointing visually.” In her work she pays homage to the landscape of her childhood and transforms these landscapes in to places of unexpected beauty. 

Her work is constructed from photographs of the built landscape. Her motifs consist of street intersections, traffic lights, criss-crossing telephone wires, power lines, ‘formatted’ buildings and bridges. These are attributes of a small American town that you passed through on the way to somewhere else.


With these motifs, Leigh ignores the conventions of perspective and creates intricate linear distortions and skewed spatial effects. She constructs a synthetic composition of different views and transforms them into symmetrical patterns along a single axis.

Her technical skills are high and divers and this versatility enables her to cross reference technical effect in her work.  Using photographs as raw materials, Leigh modifies them with digital media and printmaking techniques. The result is a synthesis of mediums in which the ordinary is altered into fantasy. One of the best examples is Leigh’s delicate watercolour: it echoes the spatial effect of her digital print.


After a BFA in Painting at the Kansas City Art Institute, Tarentino completed an MFA in Painting and Printmaking at the Rhode Island School of Design and was awarded the prize of Excellence there. She now teaches painting, drawing, printmaking, foundations, and digital imaging at Brown University.

Her work has been included in group exhibitions at the Stas Namin Centre, Moscow, Russia; Bank Gallery, Los Angeles; the University Art Museum, State University of New York at Albany; and The Rotunda Gallery, Brooklyn, New York, among others. Her work has been shown at Scope New York, London, Miami and Hamptons. She was awarded a Pollock-Krasner grant in 2008.

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