léon leenders     (°B - Lanklaar 1948) 

 

' Léon Leenders (°Lanklaar 1948) lives and works in Antwerp. He developed as a master-drawer who’s subject is the female nude. This theme is largely represented in his numerous watercolour paintings. In a very direct and fluent style he creates a mixture of paper, pigment, surfaces and lines. 

 

In the paintings, were he uses the traditional resources – oil paint and canvas – he especially pays attention to the colour-richness, the texture or the external structure of canvas and paint and to the depth, which he reveals by monochrome backgrounds.

 

Though, this artist is continuously exploring new possibilities and means of expression. He experiments with mixed techniques and creates “collages”.

A “collage” is an art discipline whereby a number of heterogenic subjects are stitched or whereby cuttings are pasted together.

The collage is to be situated in the “assembly art”. This is the art discipline that consists of assembled - apparently accidentally - collected object. With the “collage”, Léon Leenders follows the traces of Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque and the “dadaïsts”, who – in the beginning of the past century – handled the “collage” - as a part of the art process - as an extension of form and expression means,
Léon Leenders applies this collage technique in a surprisingly spontaneous way.

He mixes oil and acrylic paint on canvas and paper and thereby adds different kinds of textile and paper. He collects (old) pieces of lingerie and corsets with elegant motives. This carefully collected “material” constitutes the source for his (mainly) female nudes.

In the “collage”, fabrics and tissues obtain another functionality and they become part of an interesting fixation; Léon Leenders has introduced the “collage” in a very special and personal way to create his favourite subjects. In his world, hedonism stands for the starting point.

 

The female is the main point of his experiencing of beauty. His vision on mankind and humanity is positive and oriented on beauty. Leenders’art isn’t ashamed of its happiness-experiences and for its culture of the beauty. His positive approach ruptures with the imperfect, it wants to shun or to eliminate the obscure powers of suppression that are hiding for publicity.

This is the breath-giving message in the beginning of the 21st century.'

 

     Ernest Van Buynder,

     Pro-president of the Museum of contemporary art of Antwerp  (M HKA)

     December 2009.