August 31 - September 25, 2011
Action-art fans will be delighted to learn that Action Evolution, a new installment in David Leblanc’s “Action Abstraction” series, will be on view at the Loading Dock Gallery in Lowell from August 31 to September 25. The series captures the excitement and energy of the covers of classic Superman adventures in Action Comics publications, but is more than just an homage to a unique American art form.
Leblanc says that the current show is “an extension of what I have been doing since 2006,” when he moved into Western Avenue Studios as one of the founding members of that artist community. However, his fascination with, and creating art in response to, comic book covers reaches back to when he was five. “I would be drawn into the worlds of the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, and Superman. This inspired me to create my own characters and comics, and to dream of becoming a comic book artist.”
Leblanc, who lives in Amesbury, studied art at UMass/Dartmouth, is pursuing his dream. “In college I fell in love with painting, especially the works of the German Expressionists and Abstract Expressionists. Eventually, I wanted to integrate comics and abstract art. It all came together in response to a book of Action Comics covers featuring Superman”, he says.
Among artists who inspire him, Leblanc includes Franz Kline, Larry Rivers, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Robert Rauschenberg, and Jasper Johns; balanced by a pantheon of comic-book artists headed by Bill Sienkiewicz.
Leblanc works in a combination of collage and acrylic enamel paint. “I first cover the surface with comic book covers related to Superman,” he says. “Their dominant colors and action lines inform the colors and action of the whole painting.” Leblanc alternates layers of paint and collage to increase the painting’s depth and richness, and to establish the balance and focus of the work. He says the current paintings, and the whole Action Abstraction series, are about “my exploration of two very different genres, and how I merge and mold them into something new and, hopefully, unique.”