Lee Waisler, a California-based American painter, creates dimensional portraits of historical and contemporary figures composed of strips of wood and blocks of color. He layers his canvases with thick pigments, followed by the addition of organic materials that hold symbolic value: sand for time, wood for life and glass for light. His range of materials creates dynamic forms and textures.
Waisler began painting in the 1960s. His earliest works were socially and politically charged, dealing with momentous historical events such as the Holocaust, the Vietnam War, and the civil rights movement. Waisler’s works soon began to reflect his growing interest in Eastern philosophy, and accordingly, became increasingly abstract. It was after a journey to India in the mid-nineties that his works moved toward figuration and away from pure abstraction. He turned to portraiture full-force in 2005. His subjects include iconic individuals from many spheres, including Albert Einstein, Marilyn Monroe, Liu Xiaobo and Virginia Woolf.
Lee Waisler’s work is included in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Victoria & Albert museum, London; the Tel Aviv Museum of Art; the Brooklyn Museum; the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC; The Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris; the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi; and the Indian Museum, Calcutta.