leonardo barreto


About the artist

Sobre el artista


Leonardo Barreto is a Nicaraguan-born abstract expressionist painter based in San Jose, Costa Rica.

His work strikes a balance between chaos and order, where his creative force manifests as color explosions on canvas.

The bright, vivid streaks he creates are reminiscent of the lush tropical lands

cape he calls home.

Barreto never plans or sketches prior to beginning a painting, saying his painterly process is intuitive.

He likens this spontaneous approach to “excavating, digging forms and shapes,”

an expedition of sorts that is free from the confines of the conscious mind.


Barreto worked for many years as a photographer in Tokyo and New York City.

His meticulous immersion in the photographic medium clearly paved the way for his paintings.

The New Yorker, reviewing a show of his photographs, presciently called them “large, painterly,

almost abstract color prints [that]…have the stateliness of portraits and the numinousness of private mantras.”

Barreto was also chosen to document the oeuvre of Willem de Kooning,

and his intimate acquaintance with de Kooning’s technique inspired him to interpret visual art in a more fragmented way.

His creative energies shifted to painting thereafter.

In 2004, he attended the Universidad Iberoamericana, in Mexico City, where he studied abstract painting,

and for the past decade has produced large-format acrylic paintings on canvas.

His paintings have been exhibited in the Galeria Nota and the Galeria Alternativa in La Paz, Bolivia,

the Galeria Praxis in Managua,

and currently at Van Der Plas Gallery on New York’s Lower East Side.












Title: Entropic Force 120cmx140cm





Title: Evolution / Acrylic on canvas June 2014 /140x150cm /





Title: Evolution Detail / Acrylic on canvas June 2014 /140x150cm /





Title: Evolution Detail / Acrylic on canvas June 2014 /140x150cm /











This is titled After the Storm, It is about 7 x 7 feets from 2013










This one is titled Coustic, and the image is a detail of the painting that now belongs to a fine private collection.



Title: Esperando las Lluvias this is a detail. The painting was Painted, exhibited and sold in 2013.





The detail of a painting titled Blanco y Negro.


Available Work


Earlier Work page one

Earlier Work page two


Folio #98-098b

Instalation Nota Gallery

Texto Silvio Mignano (español)


Newer work / scroll down

























About the artist

Sobre el artista

leonardo barreto





jicaro C72