Leonhard Lapin. Codes

Kumu Art Museum



With this exhibition, Leonhard Lapin celebrates his 60th birthday. His Codes-series, started in 2003, is basing on one of the most substantial symbols of contemporary world – commercial bar codes that the artist has processed and used as the underlying structure in his paintings and prints.


The catalogue accompanying the exhibition quotes Lapin: “My system is the opposite of that of painter Piet Mondriani’s creative process, as he, by way of abstracting a cherry tree, finally reached non-visual art. I, on the contrary, proceed from abstract structures that I bring closer to me, i.e. closer to nature, by way of painting stripes and surfaces. The assortment of colours is often derived from some wildlife experience, that is, however, a landscape living rather inside than outside of me and revived by Nature. /…/ the structure of the paintings is basing on one of the most characteristics symbols of contemporary world – the bar code. This works as the most important visual sign of being here. By painting, but also by visualization, I create energy fields in those structures, born out of the use of colour. Colour originates from light. David Bohm describes matter as “frozen light”, as matter is actually the concentration of light into patterns that, surpassed by the radiance of light, create the perceptible material world. In the same way, light also brings the realm of colours to us – app. ten million different hues – which in addition to energy also contain information, hence the meaning of existence. Those energy fields or, better to say colour fields, also contain fields of connotations, which I present to the viewer on my paintings”.


Leonhard Lapin’s exhibition “Codes” is displayed on the 5th floor of Kumu until February 17, 2008.