Diane Levesque

2014 RAM Artist Fellowship Winner

Artist Statement

Our world is filled with marvelous, captivating, annoying and repulsive things. In contemporary culture, objects are invested with projected and speculative value. Seeming to possess both magical and provocative powers, objects stir up an insatiable and repetitive desire to possess. This is not a new story, but it offers endless variations that I seek to explore in my work.

As far as stories go, I have always felt a connection to inanimate objects. As a child I watched my father, who practiced the strange art of taxidermy, transform dead animals into the facsimile of the living creatures they had once been. All around me things held momentous potential and terrible consequences. Following the example of my father, I became a storyteller of imaginary worlds.

Consequently, the narrative structure in my paintings has evolved through many stages. The objects I depict function as screens for psychological projection. The selection of each object follows the art of memory in which random things trigger associations to arise in the viewer’s mind.

The newest stage of my work has taken a surprising turn due to the impact of reading Lucretius's "On the Nature of Things." When Lucretius began his study of natural phenomena, he invoked the fecundity of Venus and other gods creating a marvelous segue to explore the chaotic microcosm underlying the more seemingly stable macrocosm. From a spellbinding erotic narrative to clarity of vision through depth of understanding of natural forms, Lucretius philosophy revealed a possibility for me to explore abstraction in my paintings through the extension of the natural world into my imagery. My interest in depth psychology and the uncanny nature of things still remains as I continue to create figurative works in painting and works on paper.  

Visit dianelevesque.net for more information about this artist.

Conversation in the Studio
Diane Levesque and RAM's Curator of Exhibitions Lena Vigna

Diane Levesque
Thomas Mann: The Morally Chaotic All, 2013
Acrylic on wood
20 x 16 inches
Photography Courtesy of the Artist
Diane Levesque
The Crystal Cabinet, 2014
Oil on canvas
48 x 36 inches
Photography Courtesy of the Artist
Diane Levesque
Lucretius: De Rerum Natura, 2012
Woodcut print
14 x 11 inches
Photography Courtesy of the Artist
Diane Levesque
Circa 1968, 2012-13
Oil on canvas
40 x 30 inches
Photography Courtesy of the Artist
Diane Levesque
Mommy, Mommy, 2013
Acrylic and collage on paper
30 x 22 inches
Photography Courtesy of the Artist
Diane Levesque
The Invisibles, 2013
Acrylic and collage on paper
30 x 22 inches
Photography Courtesy of the Artist