Welcome to our new AMAA Honorary Professor, Leo Stopfer

It is with great pride that we can share with you that the renowned ‘Painter of the Ballet-Stars’, Leo Stopfer, joins our exclusive club of AMAA Honorary Professors.

It is a major honour to be able to collaborate with such an outstanding artist, and we are happy for those students who will be able to learn directly from him in his Masterclass at our Summer Camp in July/August 2021.

Leo Stopfer expresses that the joy is reciprocated and that he hopes to inspire young art students:

Based on my own experience and my way in the Art world, I can state: Art unites people, regardless of their nationality, language affiliation, political or religious beliefs. Creativity is the highest manifestation of the human spirit. Being involved in art process enriches the personality, and one of the most important of its benefits is the opportunity to share the fruits of one’s labor and inspiration with like-minded people and followers. – Leo Stopfer

The story of a Contemporary Artist

Leo Stopfer was born in Tulln an der Donau (Austria). He had his first personal exhibition in one of the galleries of the Austrian district Hollabrunn at the age of 18. The opening Day had great success, and the next week a local newspaper wrote about the new talent.

In earlier years, the artist was painting landscapes in an organic-abstract style, using a mixed Impasto technique. He combined earth, sand, and stones with acrylic paint to develop a relief-like texture. In the early years, Leo Stopfer visited a number of art master classes in France, instructed by the best professors. Here, the young artist learned the aesthetic of Impressionism and Realism. Especially, he was influenced by the art of Monet and Rodin.

Read more about his successful career below the display of his artworks:

“The Painter of the Ballet Stars”

Leo Stopfer’s passion for ballet began later as he met the ballerina Mitra Nayeri, who inspired him to create his first pastels paintings and ballet drawings in the year of 1989.

An important chapter in Leo Stopfer’s artistic career began in 2011. On the 9th of January 2011, the painter was inspired in the Vienna State Opera by the performance of two ballerinas — Ketevan Papava and  Marie-Claire D’Lyse in the ballet ‚Bella Figura‘.

The dancing bodies fascinated him, initiating a new creative union. Two weeks later, the painter was working on the new masterpiece in his atelier, accompanied by four ballerinas. The result of this work is the series of paintings ‘Bella Figura’. Later, other stars of the Vienna State Ballet became the heroes of Leo Stopfer’s paintings.

Leo Stopfer made the ballet one of the main themes of his art. Cooperating with many outstanding dancers for many years he created plenty of paintings depicting the greatest ballerinas of the 20-21 centuries. Among them are such grandees of the world ballet scene as Diana Vishneva (the Mariinsky Theatre), Olga Smirnova and Evgenia Obraztsova (Bolshoi Theatre), Vladimir Malakhov (State Ballet of Berlin), Maria Abashova (Ballet Theatre of Boris Eifman), Maria Yakovleva (Vienna State Ballet), Isabelle Ciaravola and Ludmila Pagliero (Opera de Paris) and Julie Kent and Alessandra Ferri (ABT New York).

Exhibitions in Vienna State Opera and KLIMT VILLA

Almost 10 years later, Leo Stopfer had a big honor to expose his artworks created in collaboration with the ballet dancers of the Vienna State Opera in the Opera House. The Leo Stopfer’s personal exhibition „Förderpreisträger und Ehrenmitglieder des Ballettclubs, Stars des Wiener Staatsballetts“ (in English: Award winners and honorary members of the ballet club, stars of the Vienna State Ballet) took place at the Vienna State Opera (Wiener Staatsoper) since November 2019 till February 2020.

Since his first exhibition in 1982, Stopfer’s work has been exhibited all around Europe, including London, Vienna, Berlin, Moscow, Luxembourg, Côte d’Azur.

It is also noteworthy that Leo Stopfer was the first artist to receive the honor of being invited by the KLIMT VILLA in 2017 to work in the original studio where the great master Klimt lived and worked. The result of this work was dozens of drawings and a large number of women’s portraits united under the title “meine Musen / my muses”. This series of works was presented at the personal exhibition of Leo Stopfer in the KLIMT VILLA Vienna in May 2018.

If you would like to learn more about Lep Stopfer and his artworks, please visit www.leostopfer.com.

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