Leah Durner's work occupies the critical space between modernism and postmodernism—between postwar abstraction and post-Duchampian conceptualism and post-Warholian pop. Durner's practice includes paintings in oil, acrylic, and gouache on canvas and on paper, as well as works in poured enamel. Her work in poured enamel references psychedelia and process art with deeper roots in the exuberance of the Baroque and Rococo as well as in the modernist tradition of abstraction.
Durner has had solo exhibitions of her work a Loretta Howard Gallery (2012), 571 Projects (2011), Nye Basham Studio (2009), Wooster Arts Space (2006, New York solo debut), Berry College (2005), and Limbo (1999). Durner’s work has been included in group exhibitions at Heather Gaudio Fine Art (2016), Winston Wächter Fine Art (2011), The Convent (2009), Art Gotham (2005), Cazenovia College (2005) with Julie Evans and others, Barbara Ann Levy Gallery (2000), Markham Murray Gallery (1999), Steinbaum Kraus Gallery (1997), CBs 313 Gallery (1992), Coup de Grace Gallery (1991 and 1989) with Karen Finley, Barbara Kruger, Nancy Spero, Jenny Holzer, Kay Rosen and others, SoHo Center for Visual Arts with Glenn Ligon and others (1991), Wake Forest University (1994 and 1990), and City Without Walls (1986, 1987, and 1988). Durner was an artist-in-residence at the Leighton Studios, Banff Centre for the Arts.
Durner has also curated exhibitions, published art theory, and lectured on a number of topics, including the American landscape; gestural abstraction and phenomenology; conceptualism and its sources; Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own and art, money, and gender; the work of the artist Dan Graham; and the work of composers Maryanne Amacher and John Cage. Durner’s current theoretical interests include beauty, joy, largesse, and incarnated consciousness.
Critics and scholars who have written on Durner’s work include: David Cohen (critic and artcritical publisher); John Yau (poet and critic); Jorella Andrews (Head of the Department of Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths, University of London); and Michael Sanders (philosopher). Durner earned her B.A. from Wake Forest University and her M.F.A. from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University where she studied art theory with Martha Rosler, performance with Geoff Hendricks, and painting with Leon Golub.
Durner lives and works in New York City.