Those who doubt contemporary abstraction can emotionally move viewers
should be sure to stop into The White Room Gallery in Bridgehampton, NY.
The four artist exhibition demonstrates just how moving contemporary
abstraction can be. Combines painting, installation, sculpture and
drawing, "With Abstract Certainty" demonstrates the range contemporary
abstraction can roam and provides a peaceful hiatus from the everyday.
Paintings by James C. Leonard provide firm grounding and counter to more
ethereal artworks on view. Inspired, in part, by the thick abstract painting of
Gerhard Richter, Leonard’s paintings are aggressively textural with
landscapes evident within the abstract works. Leonard's work glistens and
beckons viewers to come closer and stay awhile. He's not afraid to switch up
his color palettes:  paintings on view included those with vibrant and bold
colors or those settling in with a subdued range of hues.
The exhibition at The White Room Gallery does hold a favorite for Leonard:
Crayon Box #2, 2018. Colorful yet also subdued, the painting is a
complicated one with much to visually ponder.

54x54 Crayon Box #2

Crayon Box #2  54 x54 Acrylic on Canvas 2018

“The colors work, the composition works, the visual information that needs
to be communicated gets communicated,” he explained.
Made with multiple layers of acrylic paint that purposely leave the painting's process exposed as a way of conjuring a history and wonder, Leonard is
moved by emotion with his art rising from a "loving response to the physical
world," he explained, while remaining connected to the labor intensive
process of his art working.

"I’m pulling paint, layering one layer at a time, which creates a sense of
history in the painting," he wrote in an email. "It’s like looking at a fence
post that’s been repainted over a period of time. You can see the different
colors and layers. The physical process is contemporary, using a
squeeze. The creative process is an ancient one, plumbing the depth of my
soul to return with such beauty and imagination like the world has never
seen."

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  • James Leonard
  • James Leonard