Embrace the Family Stories of Leonie Schneider (Munich, 1993). More than 20 works by the young artist can be seen in Ruurlo Castle. Leonie's paintings and tapestries tell what her fictitious relatives experience. From happy family outings to painful hospital visits. Everyone can recognize themselves or eccentric family members in the universal stories of Leonie's colorful scenes.
Foto's courtesy Rademakers Gallery Amsterdam
Leonie Schneider (Munich, 1993) is a true storyteller. She trained at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague, where she has also been teaching since her graduation in 2018. In 2020, she was nominated for the Dutch Royal Prize for Painting.
Comic book with serious themes
Schneider’s works read like a comic strip. With their bright colours and decorative patterns, they appear at first sight to be cheerful family scenes. On closer examination, however, the viewer is confronted with serious themes such as violence, vulnerability and trauma. The artist likes to experiment with different materials and techniques, but the essence of her work is always the same: it’s all about the story.
Meet the family
The artworks at Kasteel Ruurlo form part of a story about a group of half-brothers and sisters. We make the acquaintance in the series of Frida, Scout, Donovan, Demi, Angus and Percy, with a different member of the family taking the lead in each work. The characters and events spring from the artist’s imagination. Schneider carefully selects her moments and then captures them on canvas or in another medium, as if they were stills from a movie. We can tell who the main focus is of each scene from the titles the artist thinks up for them.
Leonie Schneider, Percy broke a leg, 2021, collection of the artist ©Leonie Schneider
Leonie Schneider, Donovan's Midnight Milk, 2020, particuliere collectie ©Leonie Schneider
The scenes revolve around family relationships. How are the roles shared out, for instance, when there are no parents in the picture? Who will take care of the little brother or lend a hand when help is needed? The relative position of the figures within the scene is important: according to ‘family constellation’ theory – an approach used in psychotherapy – it expresses their mutual relationship.
To be continued...
Those who follow the artist’s work get to watch as her characters develop, both mentally and in terms of their appearance. Every story has to end, though, and in her 2022 work El Anderson, she introduces two new characters. Schneider draws inspiration for this latest series from centuries-old tales including the Bible, which also contains lots of stories about brothers and sisters.
Leonie Schneider, El Anderson, 2022, collectie kunstenaar ©Leonie Schneider
Leonie Schneider, Tapestry Halbgeschwister, 2020, textiel, collectie kunstenaar ©Leonie Schneider
Leonie Schneider (Munich, 1993) is a rising star in the art world. She completed her education at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague in 2018, where she has been teaching ever since. In 2020 she was nominated for the Royal Prize for Painting with her work It's dinner time, Donovan.
This exhibition was created in collaboration with Rademakers Gallery Amsterdam.
Are you coming to Ruurlo Castle and do you want to get in the mood for Family Stories? Then listen to the music that Leonie Schneider inspires on Spotify and plays in her studio when she is at work.
Experience the narrative art of Leonie Schneider in Ruurlo Castle: