Leon van den Eijkel
Leon van den Eijkel was born in Holland and studied at the Royal Academy of Arts, The Hague. He has lived and worked in New Zealand since the late eighties, his works becoming a familiar sight across sculpture trails and within major public and private art collections across the country. Well known for his large scale, minimalist, abstract sculptures, Leon’s Red Cloud Confrontation in Landscape installed at Gibbs farm may be a familiar sight to many Aucklanders.
During visit to the Municipal Museum in The Hague, Leon recalled seeing Mondrian’s The Red Cloud, 1907, and thinking, “Wow, how can you have a red cloud?” This sparked his interest in colour, and has been pinpointed as the moment Leon knew he wanted to be an artist.
Leon van den Eijkel's exploration of colour developed further after moving to Wellington, New Zealand in the 1950s. Soon after, he “came up with the concept of creating a new palette of colour”. Inspired by his interactions with Maori artists and their conversations about their art ancestors, Leon has claimed Mondrian as his own, thanks to the artist’s restricted palette and examination of colour. It was then that a new colour worked its way into Leon's own palette- the colour purple. “I think that in the Pacific you must have purple – everything you look at, everything you pick up, purple is there.”
Leon also has several works in the National collection at Te Papa, major collections across New Zealand, and can also boast inclusion in prestigious collections across the Netherlands and in New York. We are thrilled to welcome him into the fold at Black Asterisk.