June Leaf: Drawings

April 1 - May 10, 2015

Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects presents an exhibition of drawings by June Leaf. The show examines the artist’s drawings from the seventies through the nineties. Often made on sheets of typewriter paper, her drawings extend the conversation of her paintings and sculpture.

Figures stride and dance across the page, wrestling, fighting, holding hands, marching up and down stairs, having sex, sometimes animated by a mysterious mechanical parts, like antique hand puppets or early automatons.

Leaf draws in pencil, sometimes with ink or acrylic paint, some of Leaf’s drawings include notations related to ideas underpinning her sculptures. She will draw or paint over photographs, as in her reversals of Ovid’s Pygmalion myth, where a woman is the artist, bringing the figures in her canvases to life. Leaf has drawn on multiple copies of xerox prints to explore her sculptural preoccupations serially. Leaf’s drawings, sculptures and paintings are stagings of life as a play of the passions that divide and attract us, with the artist as a kind of inventor and director.

“It is this embrace of opposites,” The critic John Yau states, “that animates her work, as well as elevates it to…the realm of poetry.”

June Leaf was born in Chicago in 1929 where she studied at the New Bauhaus Institute of Design and at Roosevelt University in 1954. She had her first solo exhibition at Sam Bordelon Gallery in Chicago in 1948 and has lived in New York City since the early 60’s. She splits her time between the Lower East Side of Manhattan and Nova Scotia. She is included in numerous museum collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York The Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago.

This exhibition is organized in cooperation with Edward Thorp Gallery, who will present an exhibition of Leaf’s paintings and sculpture in late April.