Walter Leblanc

by Elisabetta Bucciarelli


The form of the light, its intensity and gradation. The movement of the luminosity. It finds answers, seizes intuitions, tells its knowledge, that which succeeded in experimenting thanks to its third eye, able to see where our humanity in inevitably is blind.
While at the end of the Fifties, painting vented coloured energies and passions on the canvas, Walter Leblanc experimented with white. The surface which reflects everything and which allows one to imagine better worlds.
He rolled up single threads as if they were metaphors of distorted and painful existences. He affixed them regularly and orderly on the canvas-cushions, until the eyeballs could caress and observe them from anywhere. Dreaming to place them against the cheeks or the hands.
This way, the high-luminosity but colourless white, able to hide all colours of the electromagnetic spectrum, becomes pure light and transforms itself even into colour, shadows and vibrates according to the position of the departure and arrival. To move oneself in front of a Leblanc work, to the right or left, allows them to gain multiple views.
The same painting, more paintings. The same emotion, more emotions. It is not the elegant motion of Castellani, nor the three-dimensional counterpoint of Bonalumi. Not even the lacerated wait of Fontana. It is an aesthetic step, a formal waltz, a melody of emotional spheres.
The coexistence of Leblanc’s paintings refers to a prospective of Nordic light, cold but constant, there without structural or symbolic pollution. It retrieves an almost mythological order, of high heavens and far away horizons. Of frozen rivers and mirrored seas.
Scars of the earth are easily seen in his early works, from 1958-59, where iron dust, small bolts and twisted strings lend themselves to at first a rough hindrance to view, to then to dilute itself in the spins of later works. Poets Twisted of crosses and squares, triangles and argyles.
In motion toward a higher light.


by Jan Hoet, Gand

Leblanc wrote one day that he was comparing “plastic aesthetics” to the “classic poetry that allows poetic liberty beyond its hard and fast rules”. He, in the same way linked (his) plastic work to music, the sound of which always depends on rhythm, on measure or on counterpoint but without however excluding the melody, like dance which considers in total nimbleness the dancers anatomy. He established a fourth link, this time with architecture, which even being subject to limitations imposed by functionality, does not forget the exterior form, aesthetics. Leblanc’s painting named “informal” is the result of a tension, of an interaction of severe rules and creative liberty. He maintained, in a certain sense, a very rigid system, that he had fixed, but was always trying to overcome it in a creative way. The flexibility of the limits of this painting was continually called upon, the limitations were modified in order to become possibility. It is this “provocatory” way of working that enabled Walter Leblanc to create a work which always disturbs and intrigues, in which the rhythm, the order, the play with the series and the light, and the human perception carry out a central role. I admire the perseverance, the motivation, the extreme logic with which Lebanc gave life with the passing of the years to this work, which fluctuates halfway into it between abstract and figurative. The sensitivity which emanates is practically unspeakable. The “hard-headedness” with which Leblanc gave form to his aspirations and his desires is exceptional. He succeeded in finding a balance between extremes such as “reason” and “sensibility”, “reflection” and “intuition”. Despite his striving for “purity”, Leblanc was never a purist. The way in which he was able to reconcile the severity of formal structures and the enthusiasm of free expression typical of poetry can therefore be called unique. In an indirect way, this artist has demonstrated that logic and orderliness do not have to be clinical and sterile. He was able to create a kind of ante litteram interactive art, in which spectator contribution, whether knowingly contributing or not to recreating the work, is determining. An artist who deserves to be placed in the pantheon of international art.