Leah Nadeau is a contemporary abstract fine artist from Michigan. Nadeau’s vibrant artworks combine geometric abstraction, energetic color stories, loose brushstrokes, and clean linework. Her work is inspired by travel, architecture, her film studies, and time periods in culture and design such as the German Expressionist Movement, the Art Deco Movement, and the Mid-Century Modern Era.
In 2006, Nadeau’s travels prompted her to purchase a sketchbook for the first time, beginning a transformative journey into art. In these early moments of her career, Nadeau’s skills for discernment and visual memory became finely tuned, utilizing industry, architecture, and design influences to sketch. Realizing that not every person is drawn to the same specific visual stimuli, she began incorporating these distinctions into her work– commentary on the imagery we consume. Her education as a film student gives her a unique perspective: the ability to view the world from the outside in, as if watching characters interact in the storyscapes she creates with paint. Years of painting have only clarified this vision.
Known for bright, saturated colors, highly textured paintings, linework, and vivid shapes, Nadeau's work challenges the ways we see and interpret the world. She has sold over 170 pieces of original art direct to buyers. Nadeau’s paintings “Electric Circus” 1 & 2 were purchased by the Henry Ford Health System and are on permanent display at the Brigette Harris Cancer Center. Her solo exhibitions at Great Lakes Coffee Co. in 2019 and Brewery Faisan in 2020 were met with universal praise. When in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, you can stop by the local streets to find her outdoor public artwork display, “Art From My Heart”, a four-foot painted heart installation.
Nadeau’s distinctive paintings incorporate her authenticity and innovation, themes which stay with her Collectors long after they first view her paintings.
Bachelor of Arts, University of San Francisco (2013)
Master of Arts, Aberystwyth University (2015)
Leah Nadeau works in multiple series which encompass her signature style and distinctive marks. She makes a point to always start with black paint as a bottom layer on any substrate. As a starting point, the wild black marks remind her to continue to be bold as she creates. After incorporating layers of bright colors, she works in broad brushstrokes and slowly adds in, as a final layer, the clear, intentional linework for which she is known. Her art is strongly influenced by industry, architecture, and design. Her multiple bodies of work each render this influence in a unique way.
Nadeau’s Art Deco-inspired artworks feature curving lines, clean angles, sweeping color, and imagery reflected in industry and design from the 1920s. The Irving Collection, works inspired by her relationship with her beloved Grandfather, also incorporates the Art Deco design aesthetic.
Aerial imagery, real and imagined, influences Nadeau’s brushstrokes. Her fascination with linework and shape exploration can be directly attributed to sitting in the window seat on planes as a child and looking out at the vast marks on the earth from above. This is especially evident in her “Cityscape and Landscape” inspired series of work.
Nadeau is perhaps best known for her Mid-Century Modern inspired paintings, which incorporate distinctive shapes, color-blocking, and vibrant color combinations reminiscent of the mid-20th century. Artworks in this series and body of work are often Nadeau’s most highly-sought after.
Perhaps the most consistent, quiet influence on her art has been her background as a film student. In graduate school, Nadeau was introduced to German Expressionist films such as, “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” and “Metropolis”. The intentional distortion in visual stimuli, high contrast, and the emphasis on what can and cannot be seen became a catalyst in her work which remains identifiable to this day.
Nadeau yearns to create work which beckons the viewer back time and time again. She wants her paintings to reflect and inspire people to embrace their whole selves. Her vivid color stories reflect the independence and vibrance of stories meant to be told paired with stillness and strength in shape and lines.