Leo Bates: Painting in the Shadows

Painting by Leo Bates, 1987 (Photo: Christopher Capozziello for The New York Tim
Painting by Leo Bates, 1987 (Photo: Christopher Capozziello for The New York Times)

Annie Correal profiles painter Leo J. Bates (1944-2013).

Correal writes: "Looking at Mr. Bates’s work, it is clear that something happened when he left Manhattan and moved to Brooklyn. When he plunged into deep solitude, he found something new... Mr. Bates’s last paintings were huge X’s and chevrons that when examined closely revealed tiny grids of dabbed paint. Mrs. Bates said she did not believe that her husband regretted his decision to work in obscurity. His goal had been not to pander to passing tastes, or to scatter his work to the four winds. He had just painted."