Virginia Leonard

1985 · New Zealand

Artist biography

Virginia Leonard is seen as an established mid-career artist, who was born and brought up in New Zealand, like other celebrated artists such as The Dreamer, John Forrester, Jason Carr, Peter Robinson, and Fiona Connor. Virginia Leonard was born in 1985.

About Virginia Leonard's works

Virginia Leonard's work is illustrative of the fields of Design, Conceptual and Abstraction. Design, sometimes referred to as applied arts, is a genre that encompasses a variety of categories such a fashion design, graphic design and industrial design. While the borders between art and design are blurry, some influential movements that have challenged the use of everyday life objects include The Arts and Crafts Movement and the Bauhaus, which were able to successfully unite artistic creativity and manufacturing.

Conceptual art emerged as an art movement in the 1960s, critiquing the previously ruling modernist movement and its focus on the aesthetic. The term is often used to refer to art from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s. In Conceptualism, the idea or concept behind the work of art became more important than the actual technical skill or aesthetic. Conceptual artists used whichever materials and forms deemed most appropriate to get their ideas across. This resulted in a variety of different types of artworks that could take the form of almost anything – from performance to writing, to everyday objects. The artists explored the possibilities of art-as-idea and art-as-knowledge, using linguistic, mathematical, and process-oriented dimensions of thought as well as invisible structures and processes for their productions.

Abstract art does not try to represent a faithful depiction of a visual reality, or of nature itself, but instead, with the use of colours, gestural elements and shapes tries to achieve its effect. The term can be applied to art that is primarily based on an object, or figure, where the main features have been simplified. Abstraction has been highly influential in modern art since the 1900s, with its origins grounded in Impressionism. One of the first, most influential movements related to abstraction is Cubism, with artists such as Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, who through their work laid the foundations for an important number of branches of abstract art.


Virginia Leonard's work has most recently been exhibited at Officine Saffi in Milan (13 February 2019 until 17 April 2019) with the exhibition Open to Art 3. Virginia Leonard's other most recent exhibitions listed on Artland include the exhibitions; Beau-laid (29 October 2019 - 08 November 2019) at Taste Contemporary in Geneva and Five Cubed (26 September 2019 - 05 October 2019) at Taste Contemporary in Geneva. Virginia Leonard's first listed exhibition in Artland's database was called IT ONLY HURTS WHEN I BEND and took place at Mindy Solomon Gallery in Miami, the United States from the 20 October 2018 to 24 November 2018.

At present on Artland, five of Virginia Leonard's works are available to purchase.

Further Biographical Context for Virginia Leonard

Born in 1985, Virginia Leonard's creative work was largely inspired by the 1990s. In the United Kingdom, a group of artists known as the YBAs, or Young British Artists, dominated the artistic culture of the decade. They were a loosely affiliated and diverse group, united generally by their age and nationality. A number of the members had attended the Royal College of Art and Goldsmiths in London, and were favoured by Charles Saatchi, the ‘super collector’ of art at the time. The most well-known member of YBAs is arguably Damien Hirst, and other members included Chris Ofili, Tracey Emin, Marc Quinn, Gavin Turk, Sarah Lucas and Sam Taylor-Johnson (née Sam Taylor-Wood). Through their use of shock tactics and sensationalism, the YBAs garnered a divisive reputation image which was further fuelled by their use of throwaway materials, wild lifestyles and an attitude that was at the same time rebellious and enterprising. The group was predominant in the British art scene in the 1990s and their group show ‘Sensation’ is now viewed as legendary. The art world was influenced by a number of trends throughout the 1990s, the controversial, hyper-realistic sculptures of Maurizio Cattelan and the sensitive, conceptual work of Felix Gonzalez-Torres epitomised the cultural tone of the era.

Virginia Leonard

  • Exhibitions 6
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