Please wait...

Gérard Depardieu’s Leroys Reveal a Master of Material By La Gazette Drouot

Gérard Depardieu owns more works by French artist Eugène Leroy than any other artist: 23 paintings, seven etchings and a sculpture. Many of them, such as Paysage à la fenêtre (Landscape in the Window, seephoto), were acquired in the 2000s from Dr. Philippe Laloy, whom he met through the Maeght Gallery at a time when the painter from Tourcoing, who had died shortly before, was not in vogue. Wanting to keep them together, the doctor from Clermont-Ferrand, a close friend and patron of Leroy throughout his life, sold the whole group to the actor. Depardieu, an art lover, was blown away the first time he laid eyes on the artist’s powerful, expressionist work, viewing him as the heir to the great painting tradition. His treatment of the material immediately made an impression on the actor. “Leroy’s painting is no longer even painting, it is material,” he says. “He is a kind of giant”. Until 2010 the actor added other creations to the group, emblematic of Leroy’s career. They were scattered among piles of paintings in his Parisian townhouse, where he could admire them whenever he wished, discovering a little more of the shapes and figures hidden behind the thick layers of paint with each new glance. “He went beyond Expressionism,” says Mr. Depardieu. Leroy’s tireless work on line and material could not but appeal to the actor with its power.

Last year’s retrospective at the musée d’Art moderne (MAM) in Paris cast a spotlight on Leroy, whose unique style blurs the lines between figurative and abstract art. It took him years, sometimes over a decade, to complete a painting. He constantly added new layers, his subject emerging into the light at the heart of the material worked to the extreme with a knife. Thus, a landscape is revealed on the huge canvas Sous la terre (Underground) from 1977 (€80,000/120,000) and a face behind Le Petit Michel (Little Michel) from 1975 (€30,000/50,000). The viewer becomes a privileged witness entering the intimacy of a painting that only reveals its truth through patience. This sense of privilege is also elicited by Leroy’s 1975 sculpture Sans titre (femme) (Untitled [Woman]), a one-off bronze proof with a brown patina estimated €6,000/8,000 (h. 36.5 cm/14.37 in.).


Tuesday 26 September 2023 – 18:00 (CEST) – Live

2022 © Best2bid Technology Sdn Bhd


Login status expire: Not login