Magali Leonard at the gallery Roccia : Dazzling cosmic paintings
by Daniel Rolland
Until April 20th you can see seven fascinating works of the French painter Magali Léonard.
On March 23th, Hélène Bélanger Martin celebrated in her gallery a double opening, for two painters from the south of France, Daniele Parinello and Magali Léonard. But let us consider the case of the latter. Magali has studied fine arts at the Sorbonne. She taught thereafter in French National schools. She is a delicate woman, who doesn’t try to attract attention on herself. This is close to the Japanese’s style, a civilization that she knows well because she exhibited in the land of the Rising Sun. And the Japanese have felt close to her work. For the exhibition in Montreal, she brought with her seven paintings from her latest production. We see a gradation of colors as our gaze moves from one canvas to another. I ask about the frame for here there is none. “I wanted it that way to ensure that colors looks like they emerge from the canvas, like they burst from it” said Magali Léonard. A frame would have an impact on this perspective.
A successful opening
Later on I will come back to the history of the gallery, located on the Boulevard Saint-Laurent. Hélène Bélanger Martin is the soul of the place. She has a face which recalls, with a brighter smile, a Pascale Bussieres. With her teenage girl braids you can’t miss her. She is really the spirit of the place. Magali was deeply impressed by her charisma. “Look, you really see that this is an art gallery. She loves what she does. I exhibited on the Left Bank in Paris and the atmosphere was so much colder. This gallery opening was really exciting. I was introduced to many people, genuine amateurs of visual art,” she said with a lot of emotion. Helen also had this great idea to use the hostesses (I believe there was a host) whose mission was to introduce visitors to the artists. In the case of Magali, apart from a friend in Montreal, and a journalist friend, she knew nobody. And thanks to the networking system developed by the gallery, she felt a good connection with the guests. It was an unforgettable experience. In the afternoon the cultural director of the consulate came for a private tour of the paintings. She clearly loved the show. She even gave her the reference of her counterpart in New York for a possible exhibition in America. That’s how it is with Roccia: dynamism to spare.
A great story
Lets go back to 2003. Hélène Bélanger-Martin, who is an art historian and filmmaker, discovered the work of the painter Andre Desjardins. It was an artistic love at first sight. An exhibition was organized in 2008 at the New York Art Expo. There was a financial risk in this adventure, and a minimum of paintings had to be sold in order to return the fees. The result was beyond their expectations. In a month everything was sold. But above all, the providence at its best appeared in the person of Daniel Winn of Masterpiece, Publishing CEO of an influential visual art agency on the other side of the border. She is in charge of just a handful of artists that she walks through a vast network of galleries across America. Mr. Winn, also conquered by the work of Desjardins, offered the latter not only to represent him, but also offered Helen the chance to open her own gallery. This was done in 2009 during a successful opening cocktail with a lot of representatives of the intelligentsia and the Montreal media. And Helen, who only envisions great things, wasted no time. She recently founded Roccia Earth who will to conquer Europe on behalf of Masterpiece. And she tells you everything, eyes filled with fervor and with a devastating smile. The future looks bright !