Born in Bordeaux, France, Yann Leto (b. 1979) has been residing in Spain for over a decade, and recently moved to Rome. In the period between 2015 and 2016 Leto lived and worked in Rome, since he was granted a Scholarship of the Royal Spanish Academy. Leto has widely exhibited throughout Europe, and actively participates in various art fairs. Following his first solo show in Los Angeles in 2019, Leto gained international recognition.
At the beginning of his career, Leto was strongly influenced by American and French comics, the underground culture of the 90s, and German expressionism of the post-war period. Exploring irony as his primary tool, Leto embraces equivocal topics and sociopolitical criticism through his distinctive and liberating painting technique. Although Leto’s paintings often convey different narratives, the portrayals of people in dynamic settings, indoors or outdoors, remain fundamentally in his imaginative worlds. Sports, television, social networks and personal experiences serve as sources of inspiration for Leto from which he draws his ironic ideas and critiques.
Leto’s creative practice can be described as unconventional. Working primarily within the medium of painting, the artist never settles for a particular representational technique, creating a visual language in which hybridity is key. In his extensive body of work, Leto ferociously banishes all limitations of artistic expression and incorporates a captivating synthesis of the poignant, the absurd and the provocative. The combination of vivid and murky colour palettes allows Leto to articulate vulnerable topics in an entertaining and compelling way, and underscores nonconformism as an essential component of his paintings.
Lеto incorporates motifs and iconography from different periods of art history, but always gives his pieces a modern twist. One can witness elements from Cubism, mixed with the fluidity and vibrancy of Matisse’s forms, and many other hints to various artistic styles, – a beautiful fusion sprinkled with Leto’s distinct punk attitude. His thought-provoking artworks create narratives that can be perceived as surreal collages. A lover of classical painting, Leto combines inspiration from great masterpieces of art history and incorporates elements from his surrounding environment. This fusion creates collage-like imagery, which is also the result of a collection of hard drives filled with digital files, Google images, newspaper clippings and articles. The radio also plays a crucial role in the creative process, as it gives Leto a continuous flow of information, from sports to the most tragic news. Leto also examines and utilises images from social networks since everything is already ‘an online caricature’. Through investigation of all these sources, Leto generates a variety of different storylines, deeply unique and with no rules for the protagonists – a purely visual and emotional circuit that reproduces new narratives and re-positions individuals in a turbulent society.
2023 JD Malat Gallery, London, UK
2022 La Arteria (Badajoz), Badajoz, Spain
2022 ONE OF US, Galeria Yusto / Giner, Malaga, Spain
2020 “Boxthings”, USJ, Zaragoza, Spain
2019 Cabin L.A, La Brea studio Residency “Round 2”, Los Angeles, United States
2019 “Pray for me”, A01 Gallery, Napoli, Italy
2018 “Safari”, IACC Pablo serrano, Zaragoza, Spain
2018 “What culture, what tradition”, Scan project, London, United Kingdom
2018 DKV, World trade center, Zaragoza, Spain
2018 “The Round”, Galeria T20, Murcia, Spain
2016 “Totem”, Galería T20, Murcia, Spain
2014 “Viva primary colours, viva”, Galería Carolina Rojo, Zaragoza, Spain.
2014 Summa 14, Solo Project, El Matadero / MADRID, Galería T20, Madrid, Spain.
2014 “Fake”, El Matadero, Huesca (Festival Periferias), Spain.
2013 “Iconofobia”, Galería T20 Murcia, Spain.
2012 “Circus Dances”, Ada Gallery, Richmond, USA.
2010 “Pink Agent”, Galería Cámara Oscura, Madrid, Spain.
2010 “Beautiful Hooligans processions”, Vecteur gallery, Charleroi, Belgium.
2010 – Kill the author, Caja Madrid, Zaragoza, Spain.
2022 Carnivals of Clouds, Janet Rady Fine Art
2021 Fundación Unicaja, Malaga, Spain.
2021 Aragón Park, Madrid, Spain.
2021 Festival Mar de Música, Cartagena, Colombia.
2019 Espositivo “Jumanji”, Madrid, Spain.
2018 Ada Gallery, Richmond, Virginia, United States.
2017 Re-construir el paisaje, espacio Dorffi – Lanzarote, Las Palmas, Spain.
2017 La précarité notre triomphe, Centro de Historia, Zaragoza, Spain.
2017 Parlamento la Rioja, Logroño, Spain.
2016 Convent Sant Domenech, Xátiva, Borgia, Italy.
2016 Permanent Vacation, Bordeaux, France.
2016 Bienal Guerricabeitia, Valencia, Spain.
2016 Galería 6+1, OPFM, Madrid, Spain.
2015 “Ultraviolence”, CAMARA OSCURA GALERIA DE ARTE, Madrid, Spain.
2015 “Demain ça ira mieux”, Galerie Anouk Le Bourdiec, Paris, France.
2015 “Nepotismo ilustrado”, Galería Fernando Pradilla, Madrid, Spain.
2015 CAC MALAGA, “Made in Spain”, Fundación Benetton, comisariado por F. Francés, Treviso, Italy.
2015 FocusAbengoa, Sevilla, Spain.
2015 “De la mano” (con M. Barcelo, J.Uslé, J.Ugalde), Palacio de Cibeles, Madrid, Spain.
2015 Muestra final Real Academia Española en Roma, Rome, Italy.
2013 Th3 Fa11, Festival Octavo asalto, Zaragoza, Spain.
2011 TheCheaper show, Vancouver, Canada.
2011 ARTE FIERA, Boloña Artfair, Italy.
2010 Bienal de Arte contemporáneo de PAMPLONA, Pamplona, Spain.
2010 CUARTO ESPACIO, Premio Isabel de Portugal, Zaragoza, Spain.
2009 MUSEO CAMON AZNAR, Gobierno de Aragón, Zaragoza, Spain.
2009 Ópera Prima. Ciclo de vídeo arte CAJA MADRID, Madrid, Spain.
2009 MUSEO DE LA CIUDAD, MADRID– Fundación Gregorio Prieto, Madrid, Spain.
2022 Andrea Festa Fine Art at Roma Arte in Nuvola 2022, Andrea Festa Fine Art
2022 Andrea Festa Fine Art at ART021 Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair 2022, Andrea Festa Fine Art
2020 ARCO 2020, Galería T20, Madrid, Spain.
2019 ARCO 2019, Galería T20, Madrid, Spain.
2018 T20 at ARCOmadrid 2018, T20, Madrid, Spain.
2018 Artbanchel 2018, U studio, Madrid, Spain.
2018 Estampa 2017, Matadero, Madrid, Spain.
2017 ARCOmadrid 2017, Galería T20, Madrid, Spain.
2016 ARCOmadrid 2016, Galería T20, Madrid, Spain.
2015 “Congress topless”, ARCOmadrid 14, Galería T20, Madrid, Spain.
2015 Summa 15, Galería T20, Murcia, Spain.
2015 ArtMiami 14, Galería Cámara Oscura, Miami, United States.
2013 “Firebrands” (With KottiePaloma), Mullherin& Pollard Gallery, NY, United States.
2013 Summa 13, Galería T20, Madrid, Spain.
2013 ARCO 13, Galería T20, Madrid, Spain.
2012 Galería LUIS ADELANTADO-Valencia, Con P. Martínez y O. Carrasco, Valencia, Spain.
2011 ARTE FIERA, Bologna Artfair, Italy.
2011 ART AMSTERDAM, Cámara Oscura, Holland, Netherlands.
2010 ESTAMPA 10, Galería Cámara Oscura, Madrid, Spain.
2009 CIRCA 09, PUERTO RICO –Galería L. Adelantado, Puerto Rico.
2008 ART SHANGAI 08 , Galería Luís Adelantado, China.
2008 TORINO 08, Galería Luís Adelantado, Turin, Italy.
2008 MACO 08, Galería Luis Adelantado, México, Mexico.
2008 ARCO 08, Galería Luis Adelantado, Madrid, Spain.
2008 ARTBO 08, Galería Luis Adelantado, Bogotá, Colombia.
Grants and Residences
2016 Beca de producción EmergenT Torremolinos
2014 Beca AECID en Roma para artistas españoles y extranjeros (Noviembre 14 – Junio 15), Rome, Italy.
2014 Beca de creación artística, Ayuntamiento de Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain.
2011 Finalista en TheCheaper Show, Vancouver, Canada
2011 Finalista en el Festival “Art takes Miami”, Miami, USA
2007 IX Convocatoria Internacional de la Galería LUIS ADELANTADO
2007 Premio WTC (World Trade Center) ART FEST, Mexico, Mexico.