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© Laurence Esnol Gallery
Kate LehmanKate LEHMAN & Travis SCHLAHT
New setting on 7 rue Bonaparte

Kate Lehman and Travis Schlaht, a couple both in life and in their creative work, are each on a quest for pictorial excellence. Bolstered by shared aesthetic references and singular identities, their artistic dialog examines the tension between realism and contemporaneity.

Both have favored painting as their primary medium, and portrayal as their field of research. Kate Lehman and Travis Schlaht split their time between NYC and Paris. Their path oscillates between an American predilection for high technical standards - with hints of nostalgia for a distant 19th century - and a quasi-dogmatic supremacy of ideas over form cultivated by French taste. Between these impulses, and supported by an active and eclectic community of artists, they never fail to question the meaning of contemporary figurative painting and its resolute universality.

Kate Lehman’s work abounds in striking references to the old masters, to Klimt, and more surprisingly, to Egyptian antiquity. Her warm, vibrant portraits revisit Fayum mummy portraits, immortalizing the energy of the people she captures. From a childhood nurtured by art, a family passion, Kate has retained a fascination for stories told by places and objects, for the souls of things. The path which led her to art was revealed from a young age and followed through with rigorous arts training. Despite devoting years to the technical aspects of painting, she was still not satisfied. Turning to sculpture as an outlet for her weariness, she found her way back to the joys of painting through a series of experimentations on copper. Its smooth, bright surface opened an infinite array of explorations on materials and colors. Patina craters and abstract, organic shapes contrast with the fine features of faces, or the softness of a palette, unfolding landscapes of sensitive geography, at once tender and tumultuous.

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©2023 Laurence Esnol Gallery