Luc Leestemaker

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Luc Leestemaker
Born Lucas Christiaan Leestemaker
(1957-05-18)May 18, 1957
Hilversum, Netherlands
Died (2012-05-18)May 18, 2012
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Nationality American, Dutch
Education Self-taught, being influenced by long lineage of artists before him (his grandfather and great grandfather were painters)
Known for Abstracted Landscapes, Abstract Expressionism
Notable work Voyagers, Map of The Wind, Allegories, Songs of the Unconscious
Movement Being interested in exploring multi disciplinary interchanges, Leestemaker created art-collectives of artists, composers, musicians, actors, early on in career in the Netherlands; "Groenlandsestraatweg" and "Hart Poetry."
Patron(s) President and Mrs. Bill Clinton, Mrs. Nancy Reagan, President and Mrs. G.W. Bush, Mrs. Nancy Pelosi, Ms. Drew Barrymore, Ms. Whoopi Goldberg, Mr. and Mrs. D. Gergen, Mr. and Mrs. Charlie Haden, Mr. and Mrs. Esa-Pekka Salonen, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Ueberroth, Mr. Harvey Weinstein.

Luc Leestemaker (May 18, 1957 – May 18, 2012) was an American abstract expressionist artist who was born in Hilversum, the Netherlands.

His interests in art, theater and communication led him to found an Amsterdam-based performing arts center; organize the Dutch art collective “Hart Poetry;” and for a number of years he headed Leestemaker & Associates, an Amsterdam-based consulting firm specializing in the arts.


Upon moving to the US in 1990, Leestemaker, continuing a longstanding cultural tradition in his family, committed himself to painting full-time, following in the footsteps of other European and Dutch artists, notably Willem de Kooning and Mondrian, for whom living and working in the US inspired a dramatic creative transition. His stylistic journey led from early influences by the CoBrA movement, through densely abstract expressionist compositions, to the Inner Landscape and Transfiguration series, inspired both by Mark Rothko and 17th and 18th Century Dutch and English landscape painters including John Constable and Salomon van Ruysdael.

With his contemporary abstracted landscapes as a solid foundation, more recent compositions, as “Voyagers” and “Map of The Wind” take the viewer into a new generation of abstract expressionism, in which landscape and abstraction increasingly merged. The most recent “Allegories” “Songs of the Unconscious” and "Haiku" explored even deeper layers of fluidity in his painting.

In 2006 the award winning Canadian composer Vincent Ho (Composer in Residence at the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra), used four paintings of the artist as inspiration for a chamber music work in four parts, titled “Four Paintings By Leestemaker.” Funded by the Canadian Arts Council this work was performed at a number of music festivals throughout China. The video artist and animator Edber Mamesao choreographed a 20-minute visual interpretation of this composition and a DVD version of this compilation is part of a new substantial hardcover book about the artist’s life and work, published by Skylark Press. September 2007 saw the world premiere of “Breaking Through the Canvas” at the Pasadena Museum of California Art; a choreography by Lineage Dance Company, inspired by Leestemaker’s paintings, set to music by Vincent Ho.

When not traveling Luc Leestemaker lived and worked in Los Angeles, California. He died of cancer on May 18, 2012.

Mature works[edit]

Artnews, February 2009
Luc Leestemaker: Voyager, Created 2006, in the Artist Collection

Being an artist, the words intention and creativity are always on my mind.

— Luc Leestemaker [1]

Leestemaker’s paintings are exhibited throughout the US and internationally, increasingly becoming a part of major corporate and private collections. Two retrospective museum exhibitions were held in 2004. Boston Galerie d’Orsay hosted an exhibition with a selection of the museum works for the artist in 2005. The documentary “Swimming Through the Clouds” about the artist’s life and work, was screened at a number of film festivals around the world and broadcast by Link TV, a culture and arts satellite network.

Selected corporate and public collections - Bakersfield Museum of Art, California. Bellagio Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Estrella-Banner Medical Campus, Phoenix, AZ. Four Seasons Hotel, Bahamas, Genzyme, International Headquarters, Boston, Mass. Harvard University - Offices of Neuro-Science Department, Cambridge, Mass. Las Vegas International Airport. Miramax Films. Mitsubishi-Shiodome Project, Tokyo, Japan. 20th Century Fox Film Corporation, Los Angeles. Toyota USA Headquarters, Torrance, CA. Iris A. Walsh Foundation. Winnipeg, Canada

The artist collaborated with famed composer and musician Charlie Haden and created the artwork for Haden’s 2005 Grammy Award-winning CD Land of the Sun.

His collaboration with Hollywood’s film industry has led to a number of film and television projects including Spider-Man, Bringing Down the House, Erin Brockovich, Simone, Shopgirl, American Dreamz, Spider-Man 3, Fracture, and Boston Legal.

In 2010 Skylark Press published The Intentional Artist; Stories of my Life, A series of essays by the artist with an overview of paintings spanning twenty years.

Other Books Published
  • Luc Leestemaker, Paintings 1990-2000 SWC Editions, 2000.
  • Luc Leestemaker; Landscapes SWC Editions, 2002
  • Luc Leestemaker; The Voyage Skylark Press, 2007.

The Canvases[edit]

The larger canvases are first treated with a –thin- cement layer mixed with raw pigment powder, then worked into with acrylic paint and finished with an oil based varnish. This fresco technique on the canvas creates a layered luminous sense of the work which seemingly changes in different shades of light. The smaller canvases making up the sets of the “ Inner Landscapes ” are made with the palette knife, and create a rich, layered look to the work. Landscapes have become Leestemaker's preferred subject matter as he feels that it is in these ‘atmospheric landscapes' that he can both express his emotion/intuition of the abstract compositions as well as the universally understood language of landscape painting.


Film Documentaries
  • Swimming through the Clouds; A Portrait of the Artist Luc Leestemaker, directed by Terence Gross and Ruy Carpenter. Chronicle Films, 2004.
  • A Conversation with Luc Leestemaker.' Directed by Emily Lau. Skylark Press, 2007.
Related Recordings

Self-titled debut CD by composer Vincent Ho. Skylark Press, 2007.

  • Collective consciousness[2]
  • New Music Festival features Four Paintings by Leestemaker[3]


  1. ^ Becoming an Intentional Artist, by Leestemaker, spiritcrossing, 2005,
  2. ^
  3. ^ " - CBSi". 

External links[edit]