Leonard Baby - New Now: Modern & Contemporary Art London Friday, April 19, 2024 | Phillips
  • “I’ll see a scene or a frame I like that demands to be painted. I can’t quite sit still until I’ve reiterated it with paint […] there’s something about the atmosphere in these mid-century technicolor films that’s not like anything else and something I really hope to capture.”
    —Leonard Baby

    Suffused with a pop-sensibility and eighties glamour, Leonard Baby through his paintings offers glimpses of the carefully staged world of cinema. Recontextualising single shots from mid-century European film to more recent Romantic comedies, Andrei Tarkovsky, Jane Campion and Lars von Trier are among Baby’s favourite filmmakers. Yet, the protagonists in Baby’s paintings are concealed, their presence alluded to by their turned heads, cropped faces and arms, obfuscating the scene’s narrative to be uncovered and imagined by the viewer.


    In a style tangentially reminiscent of Wayne Thiebaud’s still lifes, across the tactile, gleaming surfaces, the sitter of Medicine Cabinet is caught in motion. A still life activated by their outstretched hands, the lacquered wood cabinet stocked with liqueurs like Cinzano or Fernet-Branca is steeped in cinematic nostalgia alongside irony (as the title alludes to the ‘remedial’ qualities that were attributed to alcohol).


    Currently living and working in Brooklyn, New York, Leonard Baby was born in 1996. Having recently completed a residency with PLOP in East London, Baby has participated in exhibitions internationally with a solo show at the Fortnight Institute, New York from 16th February to 18th March 2023 and Half gallery, Los Angeles from 7th April 2024.


    • Provenance

      Kutlesa, Goldau, Switzerland
      Acquired from the above by the present owner

    • Exhibited

      Switzerland, Goldau, Kutlesa, I am American, 20 January - 18 February 2023

Property of a Distinguished Swiss Collection


Medicine Cabinet

signed and dated 'LEONARD BABY 2022' on the stretcher
acrylic on canvas
91.4 x 60.8 cm (35 7/8 x 23 7/8 in.)
Painted in 2022.

Full Cataloguing

£12,000 - 18,000 

Sold for £24,130

Contact Specialist

Charlotte Gibbs
Head of New Now: Modern & Contemporary Art
+44 20 7901 7993

New Now: Modern & Contemporary Art

London Auction 19 April 2024