Saturday Art Review
I am very pleased to have my art reviewed so thoughtfully in the #SaturdayArtReview by artist and author, C.J. Shane. Her art and art reviews are among my favorite features of art on G+.
“Chicago-based American artist Leon Sarantos is a multi-talented artist who paints a variety of subjects: landscape, and especially cityscapes, still life, portraits and figurative work, and also some pure abstractions.. With a degree in architecture and professional work experience in the field, it is not surprising that many of Leon’s paintings reflect his interest in architectural design.
He has a well-developed collection of cityscapes that are deeply informed by the architect’s sensibility. For example, his painting C-Shop, Coffee Shop at University of Chicago show students in a large interior open space in which the complicated design of the building is as important as the figures in the work. For those of us who have been challenged by the need to get perspective right in a painting, this work provides an excellent example. Attention to detail in rendering the buildings in Botany Pond and Bond Chapel also indicate his interest in architecture.
C-Shop, Coffee Shop at University of Chicago
Leon creates interesting figurative work and portraits in which line is important in defining the figure. High contrast in the forms of the figures move these works toward a more abstracted look. The best among his figurative works, in my opinion, is Young Lady With Long Pipe, a highly colorful, abstracted work in which a few simple lines indicate form.
Young Lady With Long Pipe
The pure abstracts created by Leon Sarantos are among his most compelling works. Here I share Mexican RoadTrip which Leon tells us was inspired by his time in a small Jalisco village on the Pacific coast in western Mexico. I lived and worked in Mexico for some time, and I traveled to most parts of this country. Consequently this particular painting immediately attracted me.
Mexican Roadtrip is a gorgeous work composed of shifting quadrants of color that provide a vibrant portrayal of the basic elements of Mexican landscape – sea, mountain, desert, as well as those lovely little villages with cobbled streets and adobe homes. Yes, they still exist in Mexico. Smaller splashes of color in the painting are like images of the inhabitants of this colorful landscape. Line on the surface provide both integration and separation of space – just as if you were traveling through a landscape and moving from one space to another.. The overall piece successfully portrays the vibrant, complex country that is Mexico.
C.J. Shane is an artist and author in Tucson, Arizona. Her beautiful artworks feature abstract landscapes of the Sonoran desert. Shane writes for a Tucson arts/culture publication called Zócalo.
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