San Francisco

Harry Leippe

Eric Locke Gallery

This exhibition raises an interesting point. Leippe, a sculptor, studied at the University of California at Berkeley and subsequently taught there. During this time he came into contact with Julius Schmidt, who was also teaching there as a visiting sculptor. Schmidt creates his sculpture by carving directly into the negative part of his sand molds, subsequently casting his work in iron. Schmidt’s repertoire of forms is very limited; he tends to concentrate on the process, making too much of an issue of his craftsmanship rather than of his art. Leippe, an excellent craftsman, rapidly and quickly absorbed Schmidt’s technical methods, but manipulates the same process with a very much wider and richer sense of form invention—the student performs better than the master! Since the forms are strictly out of the process, is Leippe merely a plagiarist or, instead, a much better sculptor than Schmidt?

John Coplans