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David Leonard

David Leonard

David Leonard

Offering a literal translation with impossibly intricate details, David's paintings of dense urban scenes are mesmerizing. I am taken aback by how calming his paintings are. Beyond his literal details, I experience a beauty in the patterns and colors which gives his paintings an unusual level of abstraction. Unknowingly, I hold my breath to take in the whole of the painting. David's methodical paintings reveal his thoughtfulness to capture a moment of unexpected beauty.

Biography: David Leonard grew up in a small village in central New York state. After graduating from Rochester Institute of Technology in 1985, he lived in various cities along the Great Lakes and the Eastern Seaboard. Fascinated by the dense urban environment of buildings, refineries, and the city's streets in contrast to his his rural upbringing, he began to work these elements into his paintings. He sees these subjects as the working monuments of our time and how they represent our culture's dedication to production and commerce. Since 1993, David continues to explore these themes in his painting while living and working in Austin, TX. He shows and is collected nationally.

Statement: The primary subjects of my paintings are 21st century man’s working monuments. The essence of our way of life can been seen in our never ending attempt to subdue our environment. It is not my intention to either glorify or to condemn this objective, but to invite contemplation and leave judgment up to the viewer. I’m always looking for places where the man-made environment inundates the natural. I paint this in a way where subtle abstraction disassociates elements from the environment, creating an oscillating view of the natural and the fabricated.

The paintings are meant to be ambiguous — they can be seen as an indictment of human waste and contemporary alienation, or, simultaneously, they can be understood as silent tributes to the fundamental tools of our society that we all too often ignore. One might ask why I paint these things rather than document them with photographs — I believe painting, because of its deliberateness, serves purposes that photography cannot. My paintings take a long time to produce and in this way they parallel and underscore the deliberateness with which our machinery is built into the landscape. They are a culmination rather than a moment — a “long look” at our technology and legacy.

Read more in an interview with David on the Artmuse blog.

Exhibitions and Awards:

2010 | George Billis Gallery in New York, New York
2010 | Group Show at Merchandise Mart, Art Chicago
2010 | Annual Juried Exhibition at the LIve Oak Art Center in Columbus, Texas. Juror: Jim Edwards; Awarded First Prize
2009 | Group Show at Mason Murer Fine Art in Atlanta, Georgia
2008 | Street Level at Norwood Flynn Gallery in Dallas, Texas
2008 | The Living at the Davis Gallery in Austin, Texas
2008 | Inside/Out at Julie Baker Fine Art in Nevada City, California
2008 | City Lights at George Billis Gallery in New York, New York
2007 | George Billis Gallery in New York, New York
2007 | These Days at Julie Baker Fine Art in Nevada City, California
2007 | Paint at the Davis Gallery in Austin, Texas
2007 | Good Night Sun at the George Billis Gallery in New York, New York
2007 | Art Exhibition at the People's Gallery, Austin City Hall in Austin, Texas
2006 | In The City at the George Billis Gallery in New York, New York
2006 | Pillar and Stretch at the Davis Gallery in Austin, Texas
2005 | Working Monuments at the On Gallery in S. Pasadena, California
2005 | Architect Tonic at the 2040 Gallery in Austin, Texas
2005 | Summer Show at the Davis Gallery in Austin, Texas
2005 | A New View at Julie Baker Fine Art in Grass Valley, California
2005 | Urban Fragments at Travis Tower Lobby in Houston, Texas
2005 | Selections from New American Paintings Vol. 54 at the Plus Gallery in Denver, Colorado
2004 | Arts International Exhibition 2004 at the International Museum of Art in El Paso, Texas | Jurors: Ellen Landis and Andrea Karnes
2004 | Avant Contemporary Painting Award
2004 | New Directions V at the Hoorn-Ashby Gallery in New York, New York
2004 | American Beauty at the 2040 Gallery in Austin, Texas
2003 | Texas National at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. Jurors: Jerry Uelsmann and Maggie Taylor
2003 | 20x20x20: A Compact Competition at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Juror: Michael Rooks
2002 | Contemporary Realism at Mesa Contemporary Arts in Mesa, Arizona. Juror: Bill Lykins
2002 | The Austin Art Scene III at the ACA Gallery @ ArtPlex in Austin, Texas. Juror: Ron Prince
2001 | The Austin Art Scene II at the ACA Gallery @ ArtPlex in Austin, Texas. Juror: Billy Kirkland
1999 | Americana at Crystal Fine Art Gallery in Boston, Massachusetts
1999 | National Prize Show at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in Boston, Massachusetts | Jurors: Peter, Eliza, and Belinda Rathbone; Juror’s Award
1999 | ArtForms Gallery in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Juror: Ivan Karp
1998 | Julia C. Butridge Gallery at the Dougherty Arts Center in Austin, Texas
1998 | New Texas Talent at the Craighead-Green Gallery in Dallas, Texas. Juror: Robert McAn
1998 | 20x20x20: A Compact Competition at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Publications:

SouthwestArt, August 2010
The Austin Chronicle, 11/21/08
Dallas Observer, 11/20/08
The Austin American-Statesman, 11/03/08
SouthwestArt,September 2007
American Art Collector, July 2007
The New York Sun, 7/20/06
The Austin Chronicle, 6/09/06
The Daily Texan, 6/08/06
Voices of Art, Volume 14.1 2006
ARTnews, September 2005
Artweek, July/August 2005
Rocky Mountain News, 1/21/05
New American Paintings, Volume 54 10/04
Art Business News, 09/04
The Austin Chronicle, 5/28/04
The Austin American-Statesman, 5/13/04
The Dallas Morning News, 7/24/98




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