Françoise Lemaître-Leroux from Dieppe trained at the School of Fine Arts in Rouen. Devoted at first to Post-Impressionist landscape painting, she immediately proved to be a great colourist. Since 1979, exhibitions have followed in rapid succession. In 1985, she met Salvador Dali, who gave her but one piece of advice, which was to always attach excellence to drawing. This constituted a decisive turning point in her career. From this moment on, her atypical artistic journey became a permanent quest for challenges and perfection. Whilst drawn to surrealism, she opted for hyperrealism. In 1992, her nomination as “Official Painter” of the Barcelona Olympic Games was the opportunity for her to broach and dedicate herself to the theme of sport. She began exhibiting at the major European salons, and her paintings became part of prestigious amateur collections in France and abroad, including that of King Juan Carlos of Spain. Her immense determination, allied with hard work and a real creative talent, has earned the artist numerous awards and distinctions, including the Gold Medal from the National Federation of French Culture for her overall work.
Contrary to European new realism, which will in time desacralise art, and to the cold and photographic American hyperrealism, Françoise Lemaître-Leroux highlights the subject and consequently sublimates it. Her imagination soars and is captured by poeticism in a meticulous staging. The artist invests herself completely and becomes one with her subject matter, whether it be sport, architecture, or music. Her creations come to life, rendering perceptible not only the throbbing of Formula One or motorbike engines and the shouts of athletes in motion, but also the movement and speed of racing cars or track horses, evocative of Futurists Giacomo Balla and Luigi Russolo. Since 2012 and driven by the same diligence as always, the painter has broached themes other than sport. She sets herself new challenges in a more liberal and personal style of creation, integrating human figures or music in a symbolic way. Françoise Lemaître-Leroux demonstrates a perfect mastery of her art. Her accurate and rigorous graphic work is visible in not only her paintings but also her lead pencil and Indian ink drawings. Her elegant and perfectly balanced compositions (in oils, watercolours and acrylics, painted on canvas, wood, paper and even copper) readily incorporate gold and silver leaf into their vibrant palette of colours to produce dazzling light effects. The subjects’ originality is always complimented by the artist’s gleaming, meticulous brush strokes, which render details perfectly.
In her artwork, Françoise Lemaître-Leroux reveals the need that has always driven her to surpass herself, as well as the impetuous necessity to communicate with the viewer. Her powerful and aesthetically perfect art transforms her feat of hyperrealism into an unprecedented and very innovative approach to the tangible world and its objective reality. It represents a new form of celebrating life and of visual poetry that squarely places this daring and extremely creative artist in the modern world.
I have known Françoise Lemaître-Leroux’s work for many years. Her paintings splendidly capture that fleeting moment when movement transcends sport itself and when the protagonists, whether they be humans, machines or animals, enter a new dimension, that of glory and heroism.
Numerous painters possess the technical capacity to reproduce greatness, but they do not have this intuitive perception of sport, this awareness of the effort, sacrifices and extreme pain that underlies every sporting feat. The result is not a work of art but rather a simple representation of a reality that is not understood.
Françoise Lemaître-Leroux understands perfectly what makes sport powerful and glorious. Through her use of primary colours, her dynamic touch, and the choice of her subjects, she celebrates a muscular yet graceful force, and the whole attains the sublime.
I am pleased to have been asked to write these few lines and I encourage all those who love and admire the great figures of sport to discover the work of this artist.
President of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile
Poetic reality in Constructivism
It can be said of some painters that they have immediate charm, right from the first viewing, and then that this impression remains.
This is the case with Françoise LEMAÎTRE-LEROUX, whose work exhibits timelessness and sincerity in her deepest recollections.
It is curious and extremely pleasing to notice the influence of architecture in her rigorous compositions where nothing is left to chance.
What is more, her femininity and sensitivity become the instruments of her creations.
As a precursor might, Françoise allows us to rediscover symmetry, balance, shifting and dismantled planes, as in Les Marches de la Gloire, chequered patterns,
designs that resemble puzzles (La Puissance de Feu), a breakaway from graphic art, circles (Les Athlètes de Berlin).all her works are steeped in intense emotions
and the collector can only "be drawn in". In this way, the artist plays up the opposition between the past and the present in such works as Vision de Léonard de Vinci
and reveals a new way of looking at realism.
Françoise LEMAÎTRE-LEROUX achieves the apparent paradox that is intellectual sensuality through sport, chiefly car and motorbike racing and a number of athletes' bodies in motion.
Her imagination brings to realism the candour of a very specific atmosphere, which is the result of the proliferation of rich reflection, dynamic interpretation,
and a very fine balance between form and expression.
Françoise's canvases, which bear testimony to an impeccable technique, restore credibility to this technique and the true meaning of drawing. She manages to free
the frequently cold and stiff form by means of a new type of modernism, and this thanks to elegance of gesture and an accurate judgement of chromatic values.
The artist is endowed with an intense emotional aesthetic which is certainly linked to a heightened sensitivity.
Each of her canvases, despite this realism, remains a mystery, and leaf the visitor in a state of uncertainty and wonderment, which is what gives them their charm.
At times, something mystical can explain this strange phenomenon. Great spiritual convictions certainly drive the talented artist; a rich and intense inner life has
the effect of leading us to the essence of the work.
The draughtsmanship is faultless, direct, without the slightest hesitation. it certainly points to a particular vision of the future, but above all, represents things seen,
feelings experienced, and joy and sadness felt deep inside.
All of Françoise's creations stem from the unity of an ensemble, and from explorations of her unique pictorial handwriting, in order to produce an original painting
unconcerned about fashions and trends.
The rich palette of intense colours is always sparkling, striking and quite sophisticated. The very close shades do not clash, instead their compartmentalisation,
well-integrated into the design, bring life and movement to each of her works. The artist is resolved to create forms according to values, by dosing light and shade
and Françoise is in her element when giving shape and substance to a piece, within the space of the canvas, whatever the format.
Between gentleness and abrasiveness, femininity and masculinity, cars, motorbikes, bodies in motion, the works blend together harmoniously in a rhythmic and at
times musical layout, such as in Chef d'orchestre and Gammes sportives. The important influence of music on the artist can be felt in the labyrinth-like structures
where musical scores appear. These works are of intense concentration and, from within their multicoloured swirls, she hopes to reach the soul.
Her works wield an immense power of seduction and fascination.
A sulphurous wind blows over Françoise LEMAÎTRE-LEROUX's canvases, as well as a sort of incantatory poetry. They glow in their insolent and silent beauty. Superb!
Her occupation is confirmed, here is a true artist to follow with especial interest...
Art Critic - Expert in Modern Art
Founding President of the Fédération Nationale de la Culture Française
President of the Société des Artistes Indépendants - Grand Palais - Paris
almost thirty years, Françoise Lemaître-Leroux has
passionately sworn herself to the arts of drawing and painting,
capturing the primordial liveliness and spontaneity of life in Rouen,
where this Dieppe-born artist makes her home.
As a dyed in the wool woman of Normandy,
she is disposed of a highly original talent that has been brilliantly
mastered and conducted, thanks in no small part to a determined
and uncompromising state of mind that weighs in equally in questions
of art as well as questions of life itself.
Faithful to her instincts from the
very beginning, even her early works are characterized by a powerfully
expressed abundance of color, and under the vigor of her charming
and spell-binding touch she brings to life an elaborate realism
that demonstrates her closeness to her own epoch.
As the winner of numerous prizes
in just recognition of her talent, Lemaître-Leroux specializes
in portrait painting, but also deliciously dabbles in the dynamic
vicissitudes of surrealist art.
This pictorial effervescence, full
of imagination, has led Lemaître-Leroux towards action and
the brilliant meticulousness of a dazzling and athletic realism,
a true challenge that she continues to meet with her otherworldly
yet mechanical genius, pushing her paintings into the gold and silver
of dreams that are as equally fabulous as enthusiastic and vital.