Rollin Leonard

New Portraiture

May & June, 2015

in NYC, online, and in Paris

Opening Reception

TRANSFER on Saturday, May 2, 7 – 11 PM

XPO Gallery on Thursday, May 28, 6 – 9 PM

Gallery Hours

Viewings every Saturday from 2–6PM and by appointment @transfergallery

Extended gallery hours during Frieze Art Fair NYC from 12-6PM Friday May 15 and Saturday May 16, 2015


‘Artist Rollin Leonard is Pushing Digital Photography Into the Third Dimension’, American Photo Magazine

“Across the series, Leonard’s going through exhaustive physical lengths, making thousands of exposures to replicate the effect of tools that were meant to simplify and cut out all that labor.”


‘A Digital Surgeon Cuts a New Perspective on the Human Body’, The Creator’s Project

“Showcasing both physical and virtual environments, the one-of-a kind exhibition allows the Portland-based artist to present a brand new series of computer-generated works featuring large-scale isometric folding paper portraits, giant printed bodies, and an array of fleshy elements refracted in water.”


‘Rollin Leonard’s Body’, Visionaire

An interview with the artist by Carlos Saez

TRANSFER is pleased to present ‘NEW PORTRAITURE’, the gallery’s second solo exhibition with Rollin Leonard and our first collaborative exhibition with XPO Gallery and

To date, Rollin Leonard’s work has been a systematic exploration of the human body’s digital afterlife. His photographed subjects are submitted to all kinds of algorithmic tortures, their limbs disjoined from one another or repeated indefinitely to create compositions that are abstract yet still recognizably humanoid.

In his forthcoming solo exhibition, ‘NEW PORTRAITURE’, Leonard abandons the harsh angularity for which he is known in favor of more organic forms; he essentially moves from a mechanics of solids to a mechanics of fluids. Each individual piece is an exercise in liquid imagery and is produced through an elaborate photographic process.

From Leonard’s artist statement for the exhibition:

‘New Portraiture’ (2015) is a collection of photographic, semi-sculptural objects that are rearrangeable or flexible. The subject for the pictures are people flattened by uniform lighting and a depth of field where everything is in focus. The method for extruding the surfaces back into round objects varies: light is refracted and distorted in water, polygon matrices of the photographic surfaces are crumpled into heads, and an enormous plastic figure is skewed by the viewer’s perspective.

The aesthetics of these objects are taken from digital manipulations. Words like “liquification,” “bulging,” and “skewing” are used to name image manipulations in Photoshop but are, of course, only analogies. I wanted to rediscover the physical analogs of effects like these. In movie making there is a distinction between effects done physically, called practical effects, and those done in post-production, called visual effects. My effects are practical effects attempting to emulate the computer generated magic. …”

For his second exhibition at TRANSFER, Rollin Leonard developed this extensive new series of work to span three exhibition spaces. This exhibition represents an ongoing collaboration between TRANSFER and XPO Gallery and is the artist’s first solo exhibition with the Paris-based gallery. His moving image series ‘Water, Lens: Wave’ – produced for this exhibition – previously debuted at the Moving Image Art Fair Istanbul in 2014.

‘NEW PORTRAITURE’ includes sculptural objects, installation, wall-based compositions and looped moving images from Leonard. The work manifests in large series, and is appreciated as objects and portrait commissions.

A full inventory of work from ’NEW PORTRAITURE’ is available from the galleries. Please inquire with the or to request information.

About the Artist :::
Rollin Leonard’s work is rooted in systematic and experimental studio photography. The subjects are often bodies and body parts. Rollin was born in 1984 in Boulder Colorado, USA is currently based in Maine. The artist’s work has been shown at such venues as: The Photographer’s Gallery, London, Museum of the Moving Image, New York; Moving Image Art Fair, New York, London, and Istanbul; Fach & Asendorf Gallery, online; NADA Art Fair, New York; Bitforms Gallery, New York and at TRANSFER, Brooklyn. His work is included in international collections including 53 Museum Guangzhou, China.