Leslie Wayne was born in 1953 in Landstül, Germany to American parents and grew up in Southern California. She studied painting at the College of Creative Studies, UC Santa Barbara for two years before moving to Paris for a year, followed by five years in Israel. In 1982 she moved to New York and received her BFA with Honors in Sculpture from Parsons School of Design. Her signature abstract paintings are known for their highly dimensional surfaces of oil paint with strong references to geology.
She is the recipient of numerous awards, including a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, a Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant, a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, 2 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships in Painting, a New York State Council on the Arts Projects Residency Grant, a Yaddo Artists Fellowship, a Buhl Foundation Award for abstract photography and an Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation Grant.
She has exhibited widely throughout the United States and abroad and her work is in the public collections of the Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, AL; la Coleccion Jumex, Mexico City; Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia, Italy; the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC; le Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris; the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum Smithsonian Library, NYC; The Miami Museum of Contemporary Art, FL; the Portland Museum of Art, Portland, OR; the Davis Museum of Art, Wellesley, MA; and the Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, NY, among others.
In 2017 the MTA Arts and Design program in New York City commissioned her to create a window for the Bay Parkway Station on the Culver (F) line in Brooklyn, NY. She is a member and serves on the Board of the National Academy of Design.
Wayne is represented by Jack Shainman Gallery and lives and works in New York City.