Genre: Contemporary Art
Country of Origin: New Zealand
Born in Scotland in 1948, Robert McLeod attended the Glasgow School of Art before immigrating to New Zealand in 1972.
McLeod's peculiar form of expressionism is derived from a fascination with the physical properties of paint, with an emphasis on the tactility of paint a defining aspect of his style. In focussing on the physicality of paint, McLeod celebrates the medium as an end rather than a means, thereby redirecting interest to the qualities of the paint itself; its occupation of space, its dependence on light for colour (and McLeod is known for exploring the vast range of colour available) and the change in feel associated with differing styles of application (brush, palette knife, spray etc).
As McLeod has confirmed, his painterly raison d'être is, "…the paint itself. I want it to be scraped, burnt, cut, pierced, scarred, glazed, wrinkled, aged like skin. I'm not trying to use paint to describe, or decorate, to make a beautiful surface or object. I just want the paint to be"
His interest in the physical aspects of paint has led McLeod outside the realm of the traditional rectangular canvas in favour of more unconventional constructions and supports that further emphasise the natural tendencies of paint. These free-form supports reflect the fluidity and sensuality of paint, while at the same time creating a tension of shape and colour unrivalled by the square.