┬┤New York Short Stories┬┤ is a series made in New York in 2005 and 2006.
New York Short Stories – drawing exhibition at the gallery Invalid in 2006
Writing about Stephane Leonard always involves viewing his work in a larger artistic context. Besides being active in the fields of painting, video, graphic design, film, music and installation he is also exploring the artistic medium of drawing. This exhibition, however, concentrates on the latter. Today we see 23 drawings, produced during spring 2006, while Stephane Leonard was living in New York. In these drawings motifs are approached playfully and the idea always centres in abstraction, in transcending figure and gestalt. Reducing things to meaningful essence and ignoring superficial surfaces is one of the core elements of Stephane Leonard’s work.
For a long time Stephane Leonard was reluctant to show his drawings to the public. He was drawing for himself alone. But today we get to see 23 pieces which tell of his life in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Done in a simplistic way throughout, the drawings sparse but expressive lines oscillate around a single motif. Often they seem fragile and skewed as if stormy winds had torn them.
Sometimes they are twisted and gravitate around a centre of power. Organic forms mix with emotions. Faces appear and sink back into the swirl of abstract bodies. Weight and lightness, motion and stasis reside on various layers and are subtly connected via swinging and breaking lines – adding larger dimensions to the motifs, opening up new positions and counter pointing the consciously devised air of naivet├ł with dance-like motions.
(text by Lars Marstaller)