Leroy’s canvases seem to be about age and decay — about the process and limits of recollection made manifest.
There is a kind of decay that is accomplished not through subtraction, but rather through accumulation. In the late work of French painter Eugène Leroy, we can see this form of decay given shape and, in its application to the human subject, endowed with an incredible pathos. Leroy’s work is currently on view in Eugène Leroy: About Marina at Michael Werner Gallery. The exhibition features a series of portraits the artist painted of his lover, Marina Bourdoncle, with whom he maintained a relationship from 1986 until his death in 2000. While the paintings are all nudes, they are difficult to identify as such — Leroy’s canvases are almost geologically thick with layers of paint, the figure obscured by the immense materiality of the work.