Present Tense

The Art of Memphis, 2001-Now

Lester Merriweather
Le déjeuner sur l'herbe redux
2011-13, acrylic enamel + plexiglas on panel, 12x16'.

Artist Lester Merriweather

Courtesy of the artist & LJM Studio, Memphis

A native Memphian, Merriweather attended Jackson State University before earning his MFA from Memphis College of Art and later participated in the prestigious Skowhegan School. His work has been featured in numerous exhibitions locally, nationally, and abroad over the past 15 years, including the Studio Museum in New York City. His public art project produced for the Whitehaven Library with the UrbanArt Commission is a beloved landmark of the neighborhood. His role as a staff member with the Power House gallery and the University of Memphis contributed to the cultural vibrancy of the city in the form of multiple exhibitions by a variety of artists. His Le déjeuner sur l'herbe redux plays on the title of Édouard Manet's iconic painting The Luncheon on the Grass of 1862-63. In this work Merriweather uses the technique of appropriation whereby a pre-existing image is used as base material for the artist's interpretation in creating a new work. What appears as a series of random colored squares when viewed at close proximity becomes discernible as a pastoral scene of a group of people if observed at a distance. Merriweather's use of pixilation references the format of image composition inherent to digital photography, as well as principles of color theory and the mechanics of vision.

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