Leedert Van Der Pool
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Leendert van der Pool, born in the Netherlands (1945), spent fifteen years in the Dutch merchant marine, working on freighters, coasters and salvage ships. His early artwork (1976-1990) reflects the influences of his years at sea, both in subject and in mood.
After visiting the United States several times in the early 1990’s and moving to New York in 1994, Leendert devoted several years to creating a series of large-scale, intensely colored pastel paintings based on Ellis Island, the New York immigration station. Ellis Island served new arrivals to the United States during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century and is now a museum of immigration. The theme of these pastels is the experiences of the immigrants and the museum itself.The Ellis Island series has been exhibited frequently in galleries and museums in the US and Europe, including a solo exhibition at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum.
A self-taught artist specializing in drawings, pastels and oil paintings, Leendert has exhibited his work widely in galleries and museums since the late 1970s, with recent solo shows at the Franklin 54 Gallery in Chelsea, New York City, the Museum at Emmerich-am-Rhein in Germany, and the Vlissingen Maritime Museum in the Netherlands. His drawings have been included in numerous books as well as several museum collections.
In 2009, Leendert served as guest curator – and exhibitor – for a series of traveling exhibitions commemorating the 400th anniversary of the Dutch settlement of Manhattan, in which selected paintings by members of the Salmagundi Club were shown in the Vlissingen Museum in the Netherlands and the Fraunces Tavern Museum and the Salmagundi Club in New York.
Leendert van der Pool was a member of the art faculty at Long Island University in New York City between 1994 and 2004. He continues to teach workshops in color theory and drawing in the United States and Europe, and spent a month in Japan in 2000 and again in 2005 as a guest instructor of the Japan Calligraphy Network, teaching color theory. He lives six months of the year in NYC and six months in Paris.
Leendert is a member of the Pastel Society of America and the Salmagundi Club in NY and has received numerous prizes for his artwork, including the First Prize at the Pastel Society of America’s 30th Annual Exhibition and the First Prize at the Salmagundi Club’s Annual Members Exhibition in 2009.
Recent group shows have included exhibitions in Shanghai, Taiwan, Paris and New York.