Christian McLeod

The Particle Physicist of Canadian Art

To create something beautiful or powerful or important out of nothing… that inspires me.

- 1968 Magazine (interview)

There is a tension in the work. I like to make it an effort to figure out the story. But it takes a lot of patience, a long time to capture that sense of a frozen moment, so I expect my audience to take the time too, to look closely.

- Reactor (interview) (featured in dotdotdot magazine)

There is perhaps something utopian in my work, but I seek to excavate our recent history to find a way forward, rather than imposing the fetish of the new.

- Artist's Statement (Valencia Architecture Conference)

The roots of McLeod’s impulse to paint digs deep into the soil of the primitive.

- Steve Rockwell

Colour itself comes to the fore, along with something I refer to as, for want of better term, “nature,” both unimpeded by a quest for meaning or prophecies of impending catastrophe.

- Martin Mills

McLeod brings a new energy to abstraction, drawing on and mixing a range of sources like the internet, raw environmental and experiential phenomena, digital screen imaging and video for his art.

- John K. Grande

[A]n uncanny ability to place highlights or zones or textured streaks of colour in a way that both teases the eye, moving it around the canvas, and (often) signals a more representational element in his work…

- Craig Scott

He clearly finds delight in the rapturous, convulsive nature of untrammeled paint-handling, losing himself in its irrational joys…

- Gary Michael Dault

Artist Statement

I grew up in the country and the city, in North America and in Europe, and I have witnessed massive transformation. Airports, harbours, and other points of entry hold a particular fascination for me. As much as architecture and the city dominates my work, what I am trying to capture is not a fixed place and time so much as the flux of people, ideas, and goods in movement. My paintings strive to position the city in the larger context of nature, since almost every city was founded by water, in the midst of ample farmland, or in a strategic high point – nature shapes our ambitions. There is perhaps something utopian in my work, but I seek to excavate our recent history to find a way forward.

Painting is my way of remembering and interpreting beauty and destruction. I begin by viewing reality as composed of layers of colour and shape, observing the way light reflects off an object, and the tension objects generate when placed next to or on top of each other.