exhibition "SOLITE, INSOLITE"
LEUNENS PAINTER OF THE NIGHT
Association Populaire Art et Culture (Popular Art and Culture Association), Friday, March 15. A vernissage unlike others. An exhibition unlike others: no crowds, a certain meditation and silence, and Leunens, the painter, who is presenting his work. Leunens, the painter? Or the sculptor? On the spot, you don't dare giving your opinion: you are surrounded by large metal sheets with a suppressed, patinated and downy shine... No, although the three dimensional temptation had to be subtle, Leunens remains a painter, however one of shy greatness, frankness and courage. Of course, Leunens does not appeal to those who like anecdotal and easy art. However, nowadays the general public never confuses different styles. Although the sheet metal is suspect because of its shine, but tenderly tamed, Leunens gives it the quality of noble materials, original but disturbing. Leunens respects this surface and keeps himself from the easy use of the burin.
On the contrary, he incorporates into it, until complete uniqueness of the ruptures is reached, molten metal without ever betraying the chosen vertical. An ambiguous profile of harmony, however caught in the trap of the metal sheet, powerful orbs and celestial systems seduce us without concession and impose themselves by screaming out their silence. Of such an immobility that one cannot even be sure to understand it, just like the slow clockwork of the cycle of days and nights. And nights. And nights. And solitude. Leunens, or the painter of the night. The silence, the anxiety - accepting them but not submitting to them - in a transmutation into bald metal. No one is unfamiliar to the field chosen by Leunens.
However, what this painter is presently displaying at the Centre Charles Péguy cannot be put into words; it has to be contemplated, like his own solitude, it has to be looked at, seen, experienced.
" La nouvelle République", March 23-24, 1968.
Translated from French