André Marc. Brussels, the 6-7 May 1961 Lantern

Between « action painting » where the spontaneous gesture and the subconscious impulses, theoretically, are the only guide, and the calculated  »geometrism » where the forms, the lines and the colors respond to an intentional and controlled organization of the surface of the panel, the non-figurative art covers a wide universe, whose center remains with evidence and even with insistance, the man. Not an absolute being, a kind of archetype, nor even the reassuring image of the « alma Sana in corpore Sano », but a man made of concern and hope, convinced that the immediate appearances are not limits entrenched and that beyond the objectivity of the reason, the logic opens another universe, which is also his own.

A part of the non-figurative art wanted to explore these areas still unclear and create a language that can become as representative as that of the forms borrowed to reality. The works of Guillaume Leunens offer, in this subject, a beautiful example of the balance between what the poet feels and what the painter knows, between what the artist designs as an artist and what he expresses of indefinable and mysterious in his paintings.

These works make you think of a form of neo-expressionism, whose lyricism, instead of developing into tumultuous waves, has been channelled in a fairly strict architecture. The construction is based on an ensemble of quadrangular surfaces, elongated in the sense of the verticality and which generates a rate of lines and forms. By his own painting, Guillaume Leunens envelopes this construction and takes away the excess geometrical rigor by integrating it into modulations of colors, in degraded light to dark, in changing certain forms of precision lines into imprecision. Some edges of this architecture have a slight relief, previously obtained, at the time of gluing on rigid panels. The finished paintings have the effect of catching the light and to highlight certain lines by a natural sparkle, according to their exposition to the light.

The light moreover, plays an essential role in the works of Leunens, a light which has little relationship with that of the impressionists, which takes rather the appearance of a « Rembranesque » clarity, however we cannot, strictly speaking, qualify it as clair-obscur. Rather, it is a shadowy envelope, pierced here and there by sharp light. In fact, this light, which is also color, creates a climate, sometimes of violence, as in “ »Nero », or of mystery, as in the « Isis ». It gives, through its modulations and by its dominant tone, an atmosphere that is more psychological than physical, to those strange architectures, temples and cathedrals, outside time and space.

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