After a short expressive-figurative period while at university (1981-1986), Lena Lešková–Bubanova began to explore her original and individual artistic vision. Flowing abstract-expressive paintings were the first promising indication of her future work. Lena then discovered enduring meaning in stamped prints where, by using a stamp, she simultaneously created dynamic and active, but also strict and rational stamped structures.
Beata Jablonská / De facto 2000
The Lines of Lena Lešková
Lena Lešková draws, paints, engraves and stamps a line. At first glance the resolution appears elementary, simple – but just as one strong word or a single powerful argument outweighs a tangle of long sentences, so it is with Lena’s lines.
She creates a line which is revealed in drawings, paintings and graphic images in new and experimental forms. From the start, when shaping her own artistic space, she set boundaries to protect her from well-worn paths, eschewing pleasing options which were a diversion from her vision. Her distinctive signature developed in parallel with the discovery of her stamped drawings some time in 1992. For the handmade stamp she chose the simplest form – a line – which today is still the main leitmotif of her creative program. With the creation of an image – with a stamp – she leads the way to an expressive and emotive depiction of the original structure.
We can see the uninterrupted influence of the previous cycle of paintings – Dopady a odrazy (Impacts and Rebounds, 1991- 1992) – which started with the cascade and impact of a colourful mass from a height. The resulting diffused colour created highly expressive abstract images on the canvas, which were re-discovered in later stamped drawings. Lena achieves emotional expression in the stamped drawings by deliberately building the composition of the image in advance. The illusion of a random, strictly rational approach creates tension, setting up a unique conflict between the process and the visible result.
Lena sticks to the principles of an unprogrammed, random line in the subsequent creative exhibition in a series of lino-cuts and serigraphs. She focuses her attention on the shifting and repeating of specific details created from the form of the linoleum or folio. Geometrically organized images are subtly distanced from previous formations based on the artist’s observation of spontaneity and volatility of form.
The innovation and logic of the artistic endeavour can be traced in progressive steps. It is as if Lena gets her abstract subjects into continuous circle, uncovering a new fragment of contemporary art with each exhibition. Through this circle of searching the audience comes to appreciate the whole, with its niches, secrets, finesse…
One of the artist’s principles is the continuity of the work, which is as if without beginning or end. She is able to use the detail and fragment of her existing drawings, paintings and graphic images as a starting point for a future work. Reworked into another form by a shift in emphasis, a covering, an over layering or a repitition, this becomes the basis of new works.
The most recent paintings – Nové dopady a odrazy (New Impacts and Rebounds, 1998) – are the result of projecting the original line into a new painted abstract structure. Lena Lešková closes circles step by step, but this one remains open at the moment. She is an artist who, rather than discovering a definitive end, is attracted by the unknown vast spaces of the experimental creation existing in her own work.