Lluis Lleó’s outdoor paintings come to the Park Avenue malls
A series of five front-and-back outdoor paintings on sandstone slabs from Catalonia by Barcelona-born, New York-based artist Lluís Lleó will land on Park Avenue on May 1, 2017. Morpho’s Nest in the Cadmium House, a site-specific installation, will parade along the Park Avenue Malls from 52nd to 56th Streets. The 13-foot, 7,000-pound paintings are part of NYC Parks’ Art in the Parks program and are presented in conjunction with the Sculpture Committee of the Fund for Park Avenue.
For Lluís Lleó, the Park Avenue paintings are an encounter between tradition and modernity, a merger of Catalan Romanesque frescoes and the work of modern American masters such as Mark Rothko, Ellsworth Kelly, and Agnes Martin. With poetic finesse, Lleó carves into the thick and dense sandstone, which he combines with ancestral fresco painting to create a tension between color and form. The title of the work references the morpho butterfly, a beautiful and fragile species found in Mexico and Central and South America.
“These stones are on the one hand a refuge and on the other a protection of fragility, delicate and fleeting,” says Lleó, “They create a place where all our dreams can rest: the hope that the art of painting will not die; and the hope that the art that leaves my studio will be soaked in rainwater and let to dry in the sun, to have the spring breeze blow gently on it. The Cadmium House is that pure place one dreams to find in life. That place where memories lie and we can pay tribute to the art before us, that safe place called history where so many things are unchangeable."
With the installation, Lleó bring objects reserved for interior spaces to an exterior context, altering our perception as observers. One of the painting-sculpture hybrids is juxtaposed with the Seagram Building creating a dialogue with architect Mies van der Rohe. Like van der Rohe’s maxim “structure is spiritual,” Lleó’s work creates transcendent and spiritual encounters by transforming harsh materials into three-dimensional paintings.
“Lleó’s work is delicate and ephemeral-seeming and yet rather intensely concrete, strongly physical,” said art critic Robert Hughes.
Galería Marc Domènech (Barcelona), The Instituto Cervantes, El Institut Ramon Llull, Banc Sabadell, and Indus collaborated with Lleó on the project.
Morpho’s Nest in The Cadmium House will coincide with an exhibition of Lleó’s project drawings and installation models at the Instituto Cervantes in New York from May 5-9.
About Lluís Lleó
Lluís Lleó (b. 1961, Barcelona) is a self-taught, fourth generation painter who grew up immersed in the classical history of painting from ancient times through the 20th century. His father, Joan Lleó, influenced Lluís's particular interest in fresco painting by giving Lluís early exposure to his studio work and to the spectacular medieval frescoes in museums as well as in the rural churches and chapels throughout the Spanish countryside.
Lleó’s work is in important art museum collections and corporate collections including the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (Madrid), The Morgan Library (New York), The Nagoya City Art Museum (Japan), the Pérez Museum (PAMM-Miami), la Colección de la Fundación Bancaria “la Caixa,” (Barcelona) and the Colección Fundación Banc Sabadell. His work is also in many private collections.
Lleó has lived and worked in New York since 1989.
About the Fund for Park Avenue
Dan Schwartz/Faith Holland
Susan Grant Lewin Associates
"Morpho's Nest in a Cadmium House", The Park Avenue Paintings, installation
May 1 - July 31, 2017
Exhibition of project drawings and installation models at the Instituto Cervantes in New York
May 5 - 9, 2017