The poetry of metal

The painter Guillaume Leunens is a man of a febrile sensitivity. He embraces his time with undiffused enthusiasm. His work is a song and a tribute to what essentially characterizes our time: metal, whose use is major in our modern civilization. Rather than suffer positively the reign of the metal, Leunens seeks a way to enter the system, as to point out the threats which are latent.

A craftsman an a technician, but also gifted with a generous temperament, Leunens somehow wanted to exorcise the metal – in this case, aluminum, and handle it in a more poetic, sober and nobler way than other metals and render it more conducive to man by revealing the beauty within it. Such design led him, after years of research, to invent a new language by which matter is infused by the human spirit.

It is a natural evolution of an artist who, after, not without originality, having traveled the traditional roads of painting, chooses to take on those trails that are still unexplored and discover a new world: the night and the stars, for which the grain and the characteristics of aluminum agree admirably. He drew effects that leaves audiences speechless.

Large aluminum canvases which opposed the varied range of gray, ranging from the silver to the dark evoke irresistible worlds in gestation or opposition. The lines burst out with a generous spirit; the grainy greyscale plates take on broad or shredded forms which are reminiscent of universes in permanent evolution. The lyricism of the line or the mathematical game curves, or the deep veins, imposes on aluminum a meaning that transcends it: an almost mystical fusion with the cosmos that is here depicted.

Next to these large aluminum canvases, there are many metal « monotypes » , whose style is identical, but which are mounted on sheets of paper. They were performed according to Leunens’ secret technique. The results are surprising because every « monotype » produces a power of emotion and beauty due to the mastery with which Leunens handles the metal: asperities, inequalities, light, all converge to render the poetic virtue of aluminum. Nuanced, light or deep grey, combine in a subtle game to give unexpected grace and seduction.

What impresses is the profound unity of inspiration which leads to creations of an inimitable style, all without repetition since it is based on a tireless observation of reality. It seems not unreasonable to conclude that Leunens is one of those rare precursor painters of an art to express the world in gestation on major trends and which expressed with matter most suited to enclose the maximum warmth.

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