Leslie Rice

Disco/iNFERNO

22 June — 10 July 2021

Lives and works in Sydney

View profile

Represented by nanda\hobbs

Leslie Rice’s exhibition, Disco/iNFERNO—part autobiographical, part allegorical and darkly amusing—is above all, a powerful existential narrative about finding hope in the bleakest of times. The artist holds little back in a metaphor-rich dance through his own underworld. For Rice, it has become an exercise extracting the past from his present, firmly placing it in another world. For the audience, our experience is entangled in the rich velvet ground of his painting surface and the swirling gravitas of his humour.

To immerse oneself in Disco/iNFERNO is like walking through the dark woods on a moonless night—once drawn in, we must find the way. Feeling for the imagery and its inherent meaning is a slow process. Light becomes an osmotic provider—the story reveals the more you persist. Art imitates life. To dismiss because it’s hard to see, is to miss the point. Nothing deep in life is easy. The artist asks, “why should we have a free ride in his divine comedy?”

Rice has always had a special relationship with pictures. He has lived with evocative imagery all his days—his former career as a second-generation tattoo artist has graced him with a deep understanding of mortal flesh and the irreversible relationship to personal stories told upon it. At its heart, Disco/iNFERNO tells the story of Rice’s experience of the trauma-laced last three years. The incineration of his tattoo business at the hands of a disgruntled patron and the ensuing emotional turmoil that was endured, set the stage for the swirling imagery of the artist’s imagination—laced with dark moments from art history. Ultimately, it has become a cathartic experience for the dark clown of Australian art. He is no fool though—his vision has always manifested in such a way that the artist has occupied the high wire in an art world that celebrates difference, yet, often paradoxically, seeks the banal.

A two-time winner of the prestigious Moran prize and a multiple Archibald finalist, Rice has for over a decade challenged how we perceive the world. This exhibition is a welcome return to the gallery walls for an artist who holds a unique position in contemporary culture for his unparalleled vision of what lies beneath the veneer of our existence.

Ralph Hobbs
June 2021

ARTIST TALK |  Join Leslie Rice and Ralph Hobbs in a lively discourse about Rice's exhibition "Disco/iNFERNO" on Saturday 3 July, 2pm. RSVP ESSENTIAL

 

\ Exhibition featured works

Leslie Rice

Canto One: Violence, Avarice and Incontinence

2021 \ Acrylic on velvet \ 90 x 120cm

SOLD

Leslie Rice

Fighting Fire with Fire (the aRTIST's Hand)

2021 \ Acrylic on velvet \ 32 x 37.5cm

SOLD

Leslie Rice

I'm with stupid (the aRTIST's Hand)

2021 \ Acrylic on velvet \ 32 x 37.5cm

SOLD

Leslie Rice

No Oil Painting (Portrait of Joseph Merrick)

2021 \ Acrylic on velvet \ 91 x 71cm

SOLD

Leslie Rice

Self Portrait, Exercising Patience

2021 \ Acrylic on velvet \ 227 x 166cm

SOLD

Leslie Rice

Servitude (Doopity-do what you Must)

2021 \ Acrylic on velvet \ 78.5 x 64cm

SOLD

Leslie Rice

The Burning of the Bones of Saint John the Baptist

2021 \ Acrylic on velvet \ 78.5 x 64cm

Leslie Rice

The Last Great Act of Defiance (The aRTIST's Hand)

2021 \ Acrylic on velvet \ 32 x 37.5cm

SOLD

Leslie Rice

This is Fine (The aRTIST's Hand)

2021 \ Acrylic on velvet \ 32 x 37.5cm

Leslie Rice

\ Installation Photo

Leslie Rice

\ Installation Photo

Leslie Rice

\ Installation Photo

\ Other exhibitions

Laura Matthews

Disrupted

28 July — 9 August 2021

Jason Cordero

The View From Here

6 July — 17 July 2021

Paul Ryan

South by Southwest

22 June — 10 July 2021

Contact Us

to find out more about Disco/iNFERNO.

12 - 14 Meagher Street Chippendale, NSW 2008
Opening Hours
Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm ONLINE Saturday – closed until further notice Following the latest NSW Government advice in relation to Covid— from Monday 29th June, the Gallery will be operating online only—Monday to Friday 9-5 pm for the duration of the Sydney lockdown All events associated with Paul Ryan (South by Southwest) and Les Rice (Disco Inferno) exhibitions have been postponed. We will keep you advised of any further changes as they arise. COVID Safe Check-in: As part of the Nanda\Hobbs COVID safety plan, all visitors to the gallery must sign in via the Service NSW QR code.