La Revolution de Mai, 1968

Artist: Ernst van Leyden

mixed media-collage, 236 x 210 cm

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La Revolution de Mai, 1968

Piet Mondrian ended his life in New York with Broadway Boogie Woogie, now in the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague. Ernst Leyden ended his career with a similar work of art, although he still took care of its completion himself. It has become a radical canvas. The artist created a monumental work in the last year of his life. It is executed in mixed technique and recalls Robert Rauschenberg, one of the most progressive members of Pop Art. In addition to texts torn from newspapers relating to the May Revolution in Paris and the War in Vietnam, Ernst has processed small black-and-white photographs of well-known figures such as scientist Albert Einstein, writer Bertolt Brecht, politician Neru and the philosopher Schoenmaekers. Central to the composition, however, is a large photograph of an anonymous negro girl. She is the great unknown among all these great names in world history. She is the hope, the youth and the future. With her, Che Guevara (1928-1967) is the person who appears to bring salvation. Ernst regularly displayed the first name of the Cuban guerrilla leader. He is a supporter. Typical for the painting is the preference for bright pastel colors and strikingly enough not for bright shades such as red, orange or yellow, which normally belong to a revolution in art history. Ernst van Leyden, on the other hand, opts for softness, a tender approach in which feeling prevails. Although art has a political theme here, Ernst van Leyden opts for a different interpretation when it comes to a solution. Ernst has become wise over the years through long journeys and taking note of philosophical writings (ZEN). Meditation is much better than hard struggle, although this will sometimes have to be applied. The painting should be slowly and carefully, step by step, scanning. That is how Ernst van Leyden would have wanted it and that is how he built up his ‘story’. In such a way, the result can be called stunning. Check it this way. The art certainly deserves it.