Leroy, Eugène

Eugène Leroy (1910 – 2000)


Eugène Leroy (1919-2000) was introduced to the Dutch Old Masters Rembrandt and Jordaens as a teenager, and later to El Greco and Goya. From 1931 to 1932 he studied at the École des Beaux‑Arts in Lille and Paris, but he quickly decided that the methods and approaches of the academies did not correspond with his understanding of art. He moved to Roubaix, where he worked as a Latin and Greek teacher. He consistently pursued his painting during this time. In 1936 he saw “The Jewish Bride” by Rembrandt in the Amsterdam Rijksmuseum and the abstraction of materiality and the flesh were to fascinate him throughout his life. He had his first exhibition in Lille in 1937. He continued to teach during World War II. His post-war works are characterized by dark colors and have a strong connection to the North Sea. This style of painting was thematically interrupted by a crucifixion scene that he created for a chapel in Roubaix in 1946-48. In 1954 he exhibited with Sam Francis, Serge Poliakoff and Marcel Pouget. His first solo exhibition took place at the Tourcoing Museum in Dunkirk in 1956. Leroy’s move to Wasquehal in 1958 is clearly evident in his œuvre, as there is a noticeable shift in his compositions towards more abstraction. From 1955-70 he exhibited in the May Salon in Paris. Numerous exhibitions followed, and the 1988 retrospective in the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris deserves special mention. In 1992 he took part in the documenta IX in Kassel and in 1995 in the Venice Biennale.
Leroy died 2000 in Wasquehal.



Exhibitions and Distinctions (Selection)


Hall Art Fondation, Kunstmuseum Schloss Derneburg, Holle, Germany

MUBA, Tourcoing, France


Donation of 600 works to the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Tourcoing



Musée d’Art et d’Industrie, La Piscine, Roubaix



Musée d’Art Moderne,  Villeneuve d’Ascq



Art Association for Rhineland and Westphalia, Dusseldorf.


Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo (NY)



Kunsthalle Basel



Retrospective at Centre díArt Contemporain Bignan, Centre díArt Contemporain Rennes and Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rennes



Grand Prix National de la Peinture



45th Venice Biennale



Galerie Daniel Blau, München



Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain, Nice



Documenta IX, Kassel



Participation at 21st Sao Paolo Biennale



Musée d’Art Moderne, Villeneuve d’Ascq



Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven


Musée d’Art Moderne de La Ville de Paris



Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst, Gent



Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Lille



Wiener Sezession, Wien



Collaboration with Claude Bernard Gallery, Paris



Prix Emile-Othon Friesz



Musée des Beaux-Arts, Tourcoing



Literature (Selection)


Eugène Leroy – Alles ist Farbe, ed. by Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Dusseldorf, 2000


Bernard Marcadé, Eugène Leroy, Paris, 1999


Eugène Leroy – Peintures, ed. by Kunsthalle Basel, 1997


Hector Obalk, Eugène Leroy – Oil Paintings, Tokyo 1991


Eugène Leroy – Bilder und Zeichnungen, ed. by Galerie Daniel Blau, Munich, 1994

Eugène Leroy