new-york

June Leaf, Untitled (Theater), 2010–11, mixed media, 53 x 23 1/4 x 36".

June Leaf

Edward Thorp Gallery

June Leaf, Untitled (Theater), 2010–11, mixed media, 53 x 23 1/4 x 36".

It’s usual, and not without good reason, to praise a contemporary artist’s work, or even that of a historical figure, for its currency—for the way it seems to put its viewer in touch with the now. But while I mean to praise the “Recent Works” June Leaf has just exhibited, I can’t do so on those grounds. Although all but one of the paintings, sculptures, and things-in-between in the exhibition were made in the last two years, they feel distinctly untimely, like scattered finds from an archaeological dig into the strata of a human psyche, where past, present, and eternity mingle playfully yet with unease, always tending toward simultaneity. “The first sculpture I made,” Leaf once remarked, “was because I was bringing Vermeer up to date.” Born in Chicago in 1929, Leaf is part of a circle of artists from that city who moved on from there early in their careers, and who seem to

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