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Eugène Leroy's Nudes at Michael Werner

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Author Topic: Eugène Leroy's Nudes at Michael Werner  (Read 353 times)
Danielle Gorree
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« on: December 19, 2012, 06:27:40 pm »

Eugène Leroy, Nu blanc couché au grand visage, 1991 - Oil on canvas, 38 1/4 x 57 1/2 inches, 97 x 146 cm, - Courtesy Michael Werner Gallery, New York and London


In his studio near Lille, in the north of France, Leroy painted day-in and day-out, from hour to hour, never using electric light in his studio. Everyday he would end his painting session bathed in the sunset of a very particular northern light.
His subjects were simple and classical, a ****, a landscape, a self-portrait - working most frequently with live models as a model.

Leroy said the subject was essential to his painting, and for him 'a painting' was what took place between himself and his model. The presence of this model was a necessity for him. He would say: "I can hardly live without the presence of a model". Thus, underpinning his work is the model, naked or dressed, who poses, without being static. While posing, Marina, who appears in most of the works exhibited at Michael Werner used to read Ulysses by Joyce, Rimbaud, Proust, or played the guitar and flute. To help him at this task, he had a skeleton dangling from the ceiling of his studio or Tellem statues, so even in the absence of a model, he could still refer to the human form.

For Leroy, the act of painting, the gesture, was inseparable from the subject; the act of painting and the subject merged, and the gesture became the subject. The superposition of the gesture and the subject was what he was trying to capture.

Rembrandt was a major reference for the artist throughout his life. For him, Rembrandt had a certain way of remaining faithful to nature, and to man in his depictions. In all his statements, he said that what Rembrandt was looking for in his work was 'the presence of the other, human fraternity', and that is what Leroy was also searching for in his work.
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