Marrakesh is a collection of 30 paintings in which Leslie Gerry has attempted to capture and record the magnetic and intoxicating ‘red’ city on the edge of the Sahara Desert after a trip of discovery in October 2019. The text comprises of extracts from In Morocco by Edith Wharton, published in 1920. One of the major figures in American literary history, she gives a colourful and textured travel memoir, exploring the culture, history, and beauty of a Morocco of old.
Limited edition of 80.
96pp, bound in full leather with a leather inlaid pattern on the cover.
56 x 38cm (portrait).
30 full colour double-spread illustrations.
Leslie Gerry (UK born) trained at Portsmouth Art College and Sydney College of Art, Australia. In the 1970s and 80s he ran a successful design studio with his wife in London. A transformative move to the countryside in the Cotswolds allowed him the freedom, time and space to return to his first love, painting.
Gerry’s principal medium is the artist’s book, from which he also produces limited edition prints. He is fascinated by architecture and the street life of a city. His working process involves choosing an unfamiliar place, spending 2-3 weeks of discovery, walking around, taking reference photos and sketching. This first exposure is often intense; with fresh eyes and heightened senses, he discovers things which locals are often unaware of and which fade on subsequent visits.
Once back in his studio, a year of painting begins. With a stylus and Wacom tablet, he paints on the computer in Illustrator. Working only with flat areas of colour (CMYK) and no tone, he ‘cuts out’ colour shapes with the stylus, arranging them on different layers to create a collage. He first began working this way years ago by cutting out sheets of coloured paper with scissors, similar to the way Matisse created his paper cut-outs. These paintings come together to form large-scale books (page size 38cm x 56cm) which are works of art in their own right. Each painting is also offered as a limited edition Giclée print on mould-made paper.
Leslie’s work can be found in a number of private and institutional collections including the Library of Congress, British Library and the Boston Athenaeum. Awards include Best Book of the Show at the Oxford Book Fair for Portmeirion, ‘Book of the Year’ and ‘Best Art Book’ for Havana and ‘Best Digital Book’ for Venice Reflections from the British Book Design and Production Awards.
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