* solo exhibitions
Cited: Masterpiece and Memento. Group show curated by David Kaye. Propeller Gallery, Toronto
Elevate. Winter residency as a jeweller. Coordinated by Andrea Gader. Trove, Toronto
Lionize. Also featuring work by Xavier Snelgrove and Calder Ross based on Lionize. OFFSITE Concept Space, Toronto
Unnamed work. Viewings by private appointment. Toronto *
Group show. Arta Gallery, Toronto
Lionize. Gallery Baucis, Toronto *
Why The Fuck Do You Paint? Group show curated by Spencer J Harrison. Gladstone Hotel, Toronto
Unnamed work. Viewings by private appointment, various spaces, Toronto *
Unnamed work. Viewings by private appointment, various spaces, Ontario *
Group show. Arta Gallery, Toronto
Unnamed work. Viewings by private appointment, various spaces, Ontario & Québec *
Art, Alibi and Anonymous We. Project by Treacy Ziegler. The Rosenfeld Gallery, Philadelphia
statement, November 2017
Leo makes quiet, slow artwork. It reveals itself patiently over time and rewards its audience's careful attention.
He views most of his artworks as products of explorative rather than creative processes, and his practice generally as a form of secular mysticism. Typically, each work is an output of a formal system that he orchestrates around a few key ideas, methods, or materials - often through many permutations and iterations of a consistent form. Repetitive, meditative tasks and the forces of nature play central roles. He omits as much from his work as he can in order to give these key elements space to engage with one another, the audience, and the artist - clearly, although quietly and slowly.
Each piece becomes a vehicle for exploration towards both the subject of the work’s conception and the object of the work itself. Lionize, which is his primary concern currently, has presented different meanings in different moments of this exploration. At present, he sees Lionize as a meditation on durability as an absence of fragility, and he is fascinated by their longevity; they are made of centuries-old antiquities, using a millenia-old process, in a material whose lifespan we have not reached as a civilization, or maybe even as a species. At other times, Lionize has been a mode of exploring personal trauma, idolization and idolatry, the ontological differences between identity and self, and colonial appropriation.
As a facilitator of others' experiences of his practice, a chief concern of Leo's is not to speak over the voice of his own work.
biography, December 2017
Leo Alexander Krukowski is a Canadian artist who was born in 1991. He was named after Leonardo da Vinci and Alexander the Great. He spent his early life moving between the countryside around Ottawa, the capital city itself, and the Thousand Islands region. He is currently living and working in Toronto.
Leo's artwork almost always begins with a clear concept of the completed piece and a conviction that it should exist. The act of creating it is his way of investigating and interrogating that conviction. For Leo, the ideal presentation of his work is one that invites his audience into the moment and space of the work's inception and realization. His work is not medium-specific, and he learns new techniques and materials in the pursuit of each project. Artistically, his consistent concerns have been his relationship to nature; privacy, silence, and minimalism; the treatment of history, art, and culture as materials; and the passage of time.
His influences vary widely, but are primarily literary (including Hermann Hesse, Italo Calvino, Inger Christensen, Henry Miller, Thomas Pynchon, Nikos Kazantzakis, and others). He derives many of his artistic values from ancient Chinese philosophy and his research into the historical art and material cultures of global indigenous peoples, particularly in North America. He holds a degree in visual art, but presently locates himself outside of the academic sphere and considers himself an autodidact. He feels a kinship with many contemporary and past members of all branches of artistic and creative culture. His mother, Donna Storey-Langford, was an oil painter in the classical Italian tradition and remains the greatest early influence on his work.
In the coming years of Leo's career as an artist, he intends to make several series variously exploring sacredness, fakeness, and the relationship between self and identity. He will be working with traditional, natural, and technologically-driven media.