Leslie Wayne was born in Landstühl, Germany to American parents and grew up in Southern California. She studied painting at the University of California, Santa Barbara’s College of Creative Studies and at Parsons School of Design’s Fine Arts program in New York where she received her BFA with Honors in Sculpture.
Wayne was awarded a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Artist’s Grant in 1985, and since then has been the recipient of a Yaddo Artists Residency Fellowship (1992), a Hillwood Art Museum/New York State Council on the Arts Projects Residency Grant (1993), an Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation Artists Grant (1994), a Buhl Foundation Award for abstract photography (2004), a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Painting (2006), and most recently a Joan Mitchell Foundation Artist Grant (2012).
In 2011 the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art in Charleston, South Carolina organized a solo survey of Wayne’s work, curated by Mark Sloan, with an accompanying catalogue. The survey traveled to the Visual Arts Center of Richmond, Virginia; the Joseloff Gallery, University of Hartford, Connecticut; and the Foosaner Museum of Art, Melbourne, Florida. In 2014 Wayne was the inaugural guest artist to exhibit at the new Abroms Engel Institute of Visual Arts in Birmingham, Alabama. Her work was also included in the Museum of Art and Design's first biennial entitled NYC Makers: The MAD Biennial, and in Paris at le Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain's 30th anniversary exhibition, "Vivid Memories."
Wayne’s work is included in the public collections of the Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, AL, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, le Fondation Cartier pour l’art Contemporain, Paris, France, Harvard University Business School, Cambridge, MA, La Coleccion Jumex, Mexico City, Mexico, the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, KS, the Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, NY, the Portland Museum of Art, Portland, OR, The Miami Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami, FL, and The Progressive Corporation, Cleveland, OH, among others.
Jack Shainman Gallery has represented Leslie Wayne since 1993.