November 26 1928 - present
Photograph of Jeanette Leroy, by Alexandra de Léal, courtesy of the artist. (c) Alexandra de Léal
Place of Birth:
Decorative and utilitarian works, Drawings and prints, Painting, Photography
Ceramicist, Draftsperson, Fashion Photographer, Painter, Sketcher
Although an academically trained painter and ceramicist, Jeannette Leroy began her professional career in the fashion industry, working first as an editor for Elle
magazine between 1961 and 1965, and then as a freelance fashion photographer until 1974. Around the time her photography career came to a close, she began to produce her first pencil drawings: detailed sketches that focused primarily on still lifes and landscapes. Her artistic talent was quickly recognized and she held her first one-woman show in 1976 at the Galerie Dina Vierny in Paris. By the mid-1980s she had earned critical acclaim and was exhibiting internationally.
Leroy’s works in pencil were inspired by everyday objects; fruits, shirts, and trees were rendered realistically, but with such a light touch that they seemed to fade into the paper on which they were drawn. During this stage of her artistic development, Leroy’s willingness to absorb and faithfully represent her subject matter seemed a natural extension of her photographic work. She assumed the disinterested functionality of the camera, but managed to infuse her images with an emotional quality that barred any hint of merely mechanical reproduction.
In 1995, Leroy renewed her pursuit of painting. She began to work with large canvases, filling them with colorful, diffracted designs that, while abstract, maintained the strong expression of nature that was so explicitly present in her pencil drawings. She continues to paint at her residences in Paris and the Le Landes province, in the South of France.
Musée de l'Homme, Paris, France (1953-1954)
Académie Julian, Paris, France (1948-1949)