HENRY MILLER FINE ART PRESENTS MICHAEL LEONARD AT CONINGSBY GALLERY
Henry Miller Fine Art is delighted to present the first-ever UK retrospective of Michael Leonard’s work, including drawings and paintings from the 1960’s to the present. Spanning five decades, Leonard’s first London exhibition in 15 years features rarely seen examples of his commercial work from the 60’s and early paintings from the 70’s, alongside portraits and nudes from the 80’s onwards.
The show will feature some of Leonard’s most iconic works including “Changing” (1981) and “Passage of Arms” (1979) from the “scaffolders series” as well as his Thatcher cover for The Sunday Times Magazine (1980) and several still lives and line drawings, showcasing the range and versatility of one of Britain’s most talented artists.
Born in 1933, Michael Leonard studied Commercial Design and Illustration at London’s Saint Martin’s School of Art from 1954 to 1957 and spent the next few years working as a freelance illustrator, producing artwork for books, magazines and advertising, before finding his voice as a painter and getting his first solo exhibition in 1974.
His early paintings, mainly portraits of friends and family, tended to be formal, sober and low key, a clear contrast to his much brighter later work, which, over time, became more animated and colourful. In 1985 he was commissioned to paint the portrait of HRH Queen Elizabeth II which now hangs at the National Portrait Gallery and is said to be one of her Majesty’s favourites.
The nude, and especially the male nude, has been a recurring theme in Leonard’s work, with his models often on the move or in a state of transition, dressing or undressing. Almost all his nude paintings are based on pencil drawings which are not only preparatory studies but works of art themselves, many of which are on display as part of the exhibition.
Michael Leonard is at Coningsby Gallery, 30 Tottenham Street, London W1T 4RJ, from 8 to 27 October 2018. Closed Sundays.
Special Event: Tuesday 23 October (7pm) Art historian and author Patrick Bade will be discussing Michael Leonard’s life and work. The event is free but numbers are limited and booking is required.
About Henry Miller Fine Art
Henry Miller Fine Art is a gallery specialising on the male form from the 17th Century to the present day. The collection includes works by William Etty, Keith Vaughan, Duncan Grant, John Craxton, Noel Coward, Claudio Bravo, Patrick Hennessy, Brian Stonehouse, Ronald Bowen and of course Michael Leonard.