Cadogan Contemporary is proud to announce Laurence Leenaert's first UK solo exhibition. Featuring twelve new paintings, the exhibition opens at the South Kensington gallery in February 2021 and is the second ever presentation of her paintings since Cadogan Contemporary's group show, Invisible Subjects, a year previous.
Laurence Leenaert believes in the importance of a purely tactile process and aschews the use of digital tools or machine-led interventions in her practice. Building up abstract, three dimensional, mixed media compositions with acrylic paint and elements such as wool yarn and cotton patches expressively composed on rough burlap canvas, Leenaert combines techniques such as weaving and embroidery into her painting practice. Composing intuitively on canvases laid horizontally on the ground, Leenaert moves between tools and materials, pouring paint and making gestural applications of dyed materials to add both colour and line. Each painting then develops slowly over many months, as specific elements are taken away to be woven and embroidered, a distance that the artist embraces as part of her process of reflection, reduction and revision.
Moving to Morocco in 2015, Leenaert surrounded herself with visual, material and cultural inspiration. Her work began to combine the colour, natural materials and mirage-esque forms that she found on the edge of the desert and within the local communities. Even the interlocking adobe riads and busy architecture of Marrakech, might be seen within the abstract compositions of her new paintings shown at Cadogan Contemporary.
Home, and the importance of the house is the inspiration for these new paintings. This is reflected in the titles Leenaert has chosen, many of which show special significance to her and draw from her personal experience moving to Marrakech.
"The center of a Moroccan house is the traditional Riad, everything is centered around it and is a place where the family always gathers. But for every person the heart of the house is a different space and there is a need for a specific structure.
Everything from clay houses to palaces and the contrast of it, the chaos of the city, the palm trees, the pink walls, the light of the sun. I'm constantly looking for harmony and looking for this important space, translating this into textiles, lines, graphics, relief."