For over forty years Lesley Dumbrell has been refining her technique of geometric abstract painting, injecting colour, light and emotion into an often precise painting style associated with the Colour Field Painters of the 1960s. Working in this traditionally male-dominated painting genre, Dumbrell is recognised as a pioneer of the Australian women’s art movement of the 1970s, earning her the respect of curators and critics alike: she has been described by Museum of Contemporary Art senior curator Rachel Kent as ‘one of Australia’s leading exponents of abstraction’. She has exhibited internationally in New York and elsewhere, with contemporaries including Robert Jacks and John Firth-Smith.
Dumbrell’s unique abstract imagery employs a dazzling array of colour, creating optical effects that allude to natural forces – wind, fire, rain and earth. This highly articulated and psychological use of colour and line create a visual friction where space seemingly pulsates – simultaneously receding and advancing. Dumbrell’s compositions tangle the viewer in a complex and beautiful net proffering an electric sensory experience.
Dumbrell has been included in major surveys, including Towards Colour at the McClelland Gallery (2002), Good Vibrations at Heide Museum of Modern Art (2002) and Imagining the Apple at the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery (2004). Her work is held in most major collections around the country including the NGA, NGV, Art Gallery of NSW, QLD Art Gallery, the National Australia Bank and Artbank.