New York

June Leaf

Edward Thorp Gallery

What constitutes June Leaf’s genius also makes her something of a throwback or an anomaly, an artist whose work looks back, through that of Giacometti and Picasso, to the primitive impulse to make images. Known primarily as a painter, which is also how she sees herself, Leaf surrounded the paintings exhibited in her most recent show with a broad selection of sculpture from the mid ’70s to the present. Although Leaf’s sculpture began in the ’60s with Joseph Cornell–like boxes—concretizations of ideas whose origins are painterly“ (as Dennis Adrian wrote at the time of Leaf’s 1978 retrospective)—it is now the sculpture that feels like the source for Leaf’s painting rather than vice versa. For Leaf, sculpture is not primarily an examination of the properties of three-dimensional form, but, rather, an investigation of the deep-seated desire to shape ductile matter. ”What I really want to do,“

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