Front Gallery

Melissa Kretschmer: Excavations

December 11 through February 5, 2017
Opening reception: December 11, 2016, 6-8pm

Melissa Kretschmer: Excavations (installation view). Image #320
Melissa Kretschmer: Excavations (installation view). Image #337
Melissa Kretschmer: Excavations (installation view). Image #346
Melissa Kretschmer: Excavations (installation view). Image #347
Melissa Kretschmer: Excavations (installation view). Image #348
Melissa Kretschmer, "Strait Away", 2016 Vellum, gesso, casein, gouache, beesw.... Image #313
Melissa Kretschmer, "Outside the Blue", 2016, Vellum, gesso, casein, gouache,.... Image #318
Melissa Kretschmer, "Cutback", 2016, Vellum, gesso, casein, gouache, beeswax,.... Image #311
Melissa Kretschmer, "Rose Terien", 2016, Vellum, gesso, casein, gouache, grap.... Image #312
Melissa Kretschmer, "Green Cables, 2016, Vellum, gesso, casein, gouache, plyw.... Image #315
Melissa Kretschmer, "Green Haze", 2016, Vellum, gesso, casein, gouache, graph.... Image #316
Melissa Kretschmer, "Interlude for RKE", 2016, Vellum, gesso, casein, gouache.... Image #317
Melissa Kretschmer, "Awl Blues", 2016, Vellum, gesso, Sculpey, gouache, beesw.... Image #310
Melissa Kretschmer, "Beryl Out", 2016, Vellum, gesso, casein, gouache, beeswa.... Image #314
Melissa Kretschmer, "Strait Line", 2016, Vellum, gesso, casein, gouache, bees.... Image #319

Artist talk: Saturday, January 28, 2:30pm 


Lesley Heller Workspace is pleased to present Melissa Kretschmer: Excavations, the artists’ first show with the gallery since 2007. Kretschmer, who has shown extensively throughout Europe and the United States is known for her bold yet minimal works which straddle a space between painting and sculpture. In Excavations, Kretschmer presents a series of new works which explore the edges of the painting through bringing them into the center of the work. The paintings’ multi layered surfaces: vellum, gesso, gouache, beeswax and graphite on cut and gouged plywood, result in works that explore depth through minimal planes and palettes and emphasize wood as both a material and a surface.

The process in Kretschmer’s work forms its content. Barbara Rose described Kretschmer’s paintings as “images that emerge out of the process of using materials to create complex surfaces.”¹ She cuts through the layers of her materials with the blade of a table saw, excavating the inside of the painting to reveal its form and the relationship of the edge to its center.

The artworks in Excavations illustrate Kretschmer’s intentional mark-making which peels back the layers of her paintings to reveal their language of materials. This series continues a conversation central to abstract painting; that of addressing issues of surface and support, materials and process.

Melissa Kretschmer (b. 1962, Santa Monica, CA) has exhibited her work nationally and internationally for the past 25 years, including Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Belgium, France, England, Scotland, Denmark, and the United States.  Drew Hammond will be writing the essay for her upcoming catalogue raisonne’. Her work has been included in solo and group exhibitions in venues such as Konrad Fischer Galerie (Düsseldorf and Berlin, Germany), Galerie Tschudi (Glarus and Zuoz, Switzerland), Galeria Alfonso Artiaco (Naples, Italy), Yvon Lambert (Paris, France), Galerie Arnaud Lefebvre (Paris, France), ACE (Los Angeles, CA), Julian Pretto (New York, NY), Stark Gallery (New York, NY), Tibor de Nagy (New York, NY), Galerie Gisèle Linder (Basel, Switzerland), Galerie Greta Meert (Brussels, Belgium), Esbjerg Kunstmuseum (Esbjerg, Denmark), Palazzo della Arti Napoli (Naples, Italy), Caledonian Hall, Royal Botanic Garden (Edinburgh, Scotland). Her work is included in public and private collections worldwide, such as Wadsworth Atheneum (Hartford, CT), Centre Pompidou (Paris, France), FNAC (Paris, France), Alianz (Berlin, Germany), University of California (Los Angeles, CA), Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation (Los Angeles, CA), among many others. She lives and works in New York City.

For more information or to request images, please email or call


¹ Roffino, Sara. “Q&A: Curator Barbara Rose on Melissa Kretschmer and Martin Kline.” Blouin Artinfo, 18 May 2016. [online]