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Lesley Koenig is a self taught abstract expressionist who has exhibited in over 70 juried group and solo shows since her professional debut in 2013. In 2014, she received an Award of Merit for one of her first paintings and was juried into the National Association of Women Artists in 2016. Having patrons in the U.S. and Europe, her originals and reproductions are available internationally.
Lesley Koenig was born in New York City and at six years old, discovered she was an artist when she was given a watercolor set. Her reaction to putting color to a surface was as though she had taken her first breath of life. It was a truly transformational spiritual experience. Through painting, a shy kid finally found her voice in the world, her individuality and the means to connect with others.
Despite being advised that focusing on art would not be a ‘real’ livelihood, Koenig persisted. In high school, she entered and won first prize in a seven state East Coast competition. The award was a full scholarship to design school. This marked Koenig's segue into fashion and she became an award winning designer.
Following that career, one day at home in 2013, she started painting spontaneously. The intimate spiritual connection to color and paint Koenig had first experienced as a child was reignited. She immediately began exhibiting her work.
Preferring to paint on a large scale, in 2106 Koenig acquired a studio in a designated artists' building. She works daily with the purpose of producing paintings that are safe havens for the soul. Koenig lives in the Greater New York metro area with her family.
My journey as a painter has the purpose to give people a refuge from the hyper saturated details of everyday life. My goal is to make space that transports viewers into a realm that doesnʼt trigger stressful emotional reactions connected to familiar places and objects. Space where people can experience a greater sense of self: awareness, appreciation, serenity, happiness. My paintings exist to elevate the viewer.
I begin intuitively, simply by picking up colors. Then I use layers of different mediums, surfaces, tools and techniques to translate color into paintings that have spiritual resonance with the viewer. I strive to utilize a push-pull of opposites; flat against texture, a color against its opposite, shiny against matte. I use palette knives, spatulas and whatever different and unconventional tools I feel add to the mix. The variation of mediums and tools, depending on the series, is a natural component of my painting process. For example, in my "Latin Vibe" series, to express energy and motion, I utilized a palette knife technique. In my series "Ethereal Tonalities", flat washes of transparencies were applied to create subtle color shifts and mystery.
There is no intention to develop something with a figurative reference, but this often emerges during the process. I don't fight against this surprise. As a former fashion designer and illustrator, I find this very amusing. From that career, I bring a great sense of line, color, proportion, texture and the skill set to confidently and responsibly research themes to produce paintings that are unique and stimulating.
My instinctive reactions in my practice are based on years of being immersed in the arts. Choices of mediums, tools, marks put down on the surface, brushstrokes, the types of texture, the ways the colors relate to one another and the decisions about the placement of every element in my composition--all this is based on my entire life history up to the moment I've finished the painting. You might say its impulse with a lot of history behind it.
2019 Schelfhaudt Gallery, University of Bridgeport, Bridgeport CT
2018 Sizzle Arts Group Exhibition ( juried) Chelsea, New York
2018 28th Annual Juried Student Exhibition, Silvermine Arts Center, New Canaan, CT
2018 Group Exhibition, The Delight of Plein Air, Art Works Gallery, Norwalk, CT
2018 Art to The Avenue, Greenwich, CT
2018 Synergy, Group Exhibition, Blends Gallery, Bridgeport, CT
2018 Solo Exhibition, Garelick & Herbs, New Canaan, CT
2018 Solo Exhibition, Dolce Hotel, Norwalk, CT
2017 Solo Exhibition, Rockwell Art and Framing, Ridgefield, CT
2017 Solo Exhibition, Hurleyville Arts Center, Hurleyville, NY
2017 Group Exhibition, Six Summit Gallery at Faust-Harrison Pianos, Fairfield, CT
2017 CCNS Annual Art Show (juried) Rowayton, CT
2017 Wild and Balanced Global Juried Exhibition, Gallery 222, Hurleyville, NY
2017 Solo Exhibition, Lillian August, Art to the Avenue, Greenwich, CT
2017 Group Exhibition, Schelfhaudt Gallery, University of Bridgeport, CT
2017 Neoteric Abstract; International Juried Exhibition, Limner Gallery, Hudson, NY
2017 Sheroes: Honoring Women Veterans, (juried) The Grove, New Haven, CT
2017 Art Hearts Fashion Global Juried Exhibition, Angel Orensanz Foundation, New York, NY
2017 Second Annual Juried Exhibition, Maple and Main Fine Art Gallery, Chester, CT
2017 Edgy Elegance Show (juried) Buddy Warren Gallery New York, NY
2017 Winter Exhibition, Maple and Main Fine Art Gallery, Chester, CT
2017 African-American Artists of the Hudson Valley (juried) Howland Cultural Ctr, Beacon, NY
2016 Small Works Show (juried) Catalyst Gallery, Beacon, NY
2016 Holiday Exhibition (juried) Maple and Main Fine Art Gallery, Chester, CT
2016 Celebration (juried) National Society of Women Artists, Mulberry Street Library, NY, NY
2016 New Member Exhibition (juried) National Society of Women Artists, NAWA Gallery, NY, NY
2016 National Society of Artists 32nd National Juried Show, Galveston, TX (juror: Nathan Madrid, full time lecturer, Texas A&M State University)
2016 Fall Exhibition (juried) Maple and Main Fine Art Gallery, Chester, CT
2016 Artists at Grove Street Plaza (juried) Darien, CT
2016 Art Hearts Fashion Global Juried Exhibition Angel Orensanz Foundation, NY, NY
2016 86th Annual National Open Juried Show, CT Women Artists, Slater Memorial Museum, Norwich, CT
2016 CCNS Annual Art Show (juried), Rowayton, CT
2016 Aqua (juried) Maritime Gallery, South Norwalk, CT
2015 Small Works Show (juried) Clover's Fine Art Gallery, Brooklyn, New York
2015 Small Works Sampler Exhibition at Read's Art Space, Bridgeport, CT
2015 Collective Member Pop-Up Show Westport Arts Center, Westport, CT
2015 Alternative Spaces at City Wide Open Studios, New Haven, CT
2015 Solo Exhibition, The Mayor's Gallery, Danbury City Hall, Danbury, CT
2015 Ridgefield Art Walk (juried) Ridgefield, CT
2015 Roton Point Art Show, Rowayton, CT
2015 Stamford Art Walk, (juried) Stamford, CT
2015 CCNS Annual Art Show (juried), Rowayton CT
2015 Art About Town (juried) Westport, CT
2015 Art to The Avenue, (juried) Greenwich, CT
2015 Bloom (juried) Art and Frame, Danbury, CT
2015 Annual Spring Show, Art Society of Old Greenwich, Cos Cob, CT
2015 Still Life (juried) Clover's Fine Art Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
2015 Solo Exhibition, Brendan's 101 Gallery, Rowayton, CT
2015 Solo Exhibition, Nature's Temptation Market, Ridgefield, CT
2015 Inspiration, Rowayton Arts Center, Rowayton, CT (juror, Alex McFarland)
2015 Annual Members' Show Easton Arts Council, Easton, CT
2015 From the RAC Studio, Rowayton Arts Center, Rowayton, CT
2014 Bruce S. Kershner Gallery Holiday Show (juried) Fairfield, CT
2014 37th Annual Juried Show, Ridgefield Guild of Artists, Ridgefield, CT (juror: Anne Strauss, former Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC)
2014 Rockwell Art and Framing, Westport, CT
2014 Sounds of Summer (juried), Loft Artists Association, Stamford, CT
2014 Rethink the Ordinary, Greenwich Art Society, Flinn Gallery, Greenwich, CT (juror: Elizabeth Sherman, Associate Curator, Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC)
2014 Ridgefield Art Walk (juried) Ridgefield, CT
2014 Westport Art About Town (juried), Westport, CT
2014 56th Annual Art Show, Darien Art Center, Darien, CT
2014 Paint Rowayton, Rowayton Arts Center, Rowayton, CT
2014 Art in the Country, Easton Arts Council, Easton, CT (juror: Joel Spector, internationally acclaimed artist, teacher)
2013 Picking up the Pieces, Greenwich Art Society, Flinn Gallery, Greenwich, CT (juror: Laura Phipps, Associate Curator, Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC)
2013 Annual Members' Show, Art Society of Old Greenwich, Greenwich, CT (juror: Claudia Seymour, former president of The Salmagundi Club, NYC)
2017 Annual Paint Out Benefit, Tibetan Buddhist Center for Universal Peace, Redding, CT
2016 Benefit for the Annual Silvermine School of Art Children’s Scholarship Fund, New Canaan, CT
2016 19th Annual Art Show, Pequot Library, Southport, CT
2016 RoCo International Small Art Phenomenon, Rochester Contemporary Art Center, Rochester, NY
2015 BRAG Gives Back, benefit for the Boys & Girls Club of Bridgeport, CT
2015 The Rowayton School Annual Fall Fundraiser, Rowayton, CT
2014 Art For The Love of It, Charity Exhibition, Norwalk, CT
2013 Greetings from Black Rock, Auction, Black Rock Art Guild, Bridgeport, CT
2016 Juried Member of The National Association of Women Artists, New York City
2014 Award of Merit, Easton Arts Council Annual Regional Juried Show, Art in the Country, Easton, CT
The National Academy School of Art, New York,
Silvermine Arts Center, New Canaan, CT
The Art Students League of New York
Parsons School of Design, New York, NY
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