Painter-sculptor June Leaf was born in 1929 in Chicago, Illinois, where
she studied at the New Bauhaus, Institute of Design, Chicago, Illinois,
1947-1948. She received her B.A. degree in Art Education from
Roosevelt University, Chicago, in 1954, and an M.A. in Art Education
from the Institute of Design. She also studied in Paris, France.
has lived for the past thirty years in New York City and Mabou, Cape
Breton Island in Nova Scotia, Canada, with her husband, photographer
Robert Frank (they sometimes collaborate, with Leaf painting and
drawing on his photographs). She has several times been a
visiting artist at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design.
Leaf's wood and welded sculptures such as Centaur Woman
and Figure on a Hoist
some with movable parts, may suggest childhood toys but comment, like
her paintings, on feminist* issues and the pressures of life and
society. Pregnant with Two Gentlemen
, a figurative* painting, depicts a pregnant woman flanked by two standing male figures.
work is in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago; Museum of
Contemporary Art, also in Chicago; National Collection of Fine Arts,
Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; Madison Art Center,
Wisconsin; and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
exhibited in Canada in 2001 at the Wynick/Tuck Gallery in Toronto, and
the Art Gallery of Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, Nova
She had her first solo exhibition in 1948 in
Chicago. Some university and museum exhibitions in which Leaf
participated in the 1970, include "Torment," in 1970 at the Whitney
Museum of American Art, New York City; "Drawings by Contemporary
American Artists," 1974, the Cranbrook Academy Museum, Bloomfield
Hills, Michigan; "Contemporary Drawings," 1975, Boston University,
Massachusetts; and "A Retrospective Exhibition," 1978, Museum of
Contemporary Art, Chicago. Leaf exhibited in 1981 in a show at the
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, "Alternative Realities in
Contemporary American Photography."
People involved in the arts
may recall Richard Avedon's striking 1975 portrait of Leaf with her
arms wrapped around herself, the drained expression in her face and
pose of an aging artist, burning-out from the trials and experience of
being an artist.
June Leaf is listed in 1986 in the 17th edition of Who's Who in American Art,
published by the R.R. Bowker Company.
June Leaf's awards and honors include:
Honorary Degree, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Hallifax, 1996
Alumni Award, Chicago Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL, 1996
National Endowment for the Arts in painting, 1989
Englehard Award, 1986
Honorary Doctorate, Humane Letters, DePaul University, 1984
Distinguished Artists Awards, Canadian Council, 1984
Canada Council Senior Grant, 1983-85
Lippincott Art Fabricators Sculpture Commission, 1978
Canada Council Grant for Painting, 1978
Fulbright Grant to Paris for painting, 1958-59
June Leaf one-person exhibitions include;
2000 Edward Thorp Gallery, New York, NY
1997 Freedman Gallery, Albright College, Reading, PA, June Leaf: Mining
Edward Thorp Gallery, New York, NY, Recent Paintings and Sculpture
1995 Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, IL, June Leaf: Prints 1952-1990
Edward Thorp Gallery, New York, NY, Recent Paintings, Drawings and
1991 Virginia Lust Gallery, New York, NY, Works on Paper, 1969-1970.
Washington Project for the Arts, Washington D.C. "A Survey of Painting,
Sculpture and Works on paper,1948-1991; Travelled to:
Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy, Andover, MA
1988 Edward Thorp Gallery, New York, NY
1985 Edward Thorp Gallery, New York, NY
Optica Gallery, Montreal, Canada
College of Cape Breton, Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
1983 North Dakota Museum of Art, North Forks, ND
1982 Dalhousie Art Gallery, Nova Scotia, Canada
1981 Young-Hoffman Gallery, Chicago, IL
1978 Young -Hoffman Gallery, Chicago, IL
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL
1976 Terry Dintenfass Gallery, New York, NY
1974 Madison Art Center, Madison WI
1973 Terry Dintenfass Gallery, New York, NY
1972 Gallery Bernard, Greenwich, CT
1970 Alan Frumkin Gallery, Chicago, IL
1969 Reed College, Portland, OR
Society for Contemporary Art, Art Institute of Chicago
1968 Alan Frumkin Gallery, New York, NY
1966 Alan Frumkin Gallery, New York, NY
1951 Momentum Gallery, Chicago, IL
1948 Sam Bordelon Gallery, Chicago, IL
Bibliography of writings on June Leaf:
Robert, "this to this, this to this: the interconnected world of June
Leaf", Border Crossings
, Issue No. 67, pp. 12 -26, illus.
Heartney, Eleanor, Review, Art in America
, January 1998, p.98, illus.
Fox, Marilyn J., "A Master of Gesture", Reading Eagle
, November 9, 1997, p. E3
Youngs, Christopher, June Leaf: Mining Mabo, Freedman Gallery, PA Exhibition
Cotter, Holland, The New York Times
, April 25, 1997, Page C23.
Wilkinson, Jeanne, Review
, May 1, 1997
Bell, Bowyer, Review,
May 1, 1997
Smith, Roberta, The New York Times
, April 7, 1995, Page C20.
Naves, Mario, New Art Examiner
, September 1995, p.46.
Schwabsky, Barry, ARTFORUM
, Summer, 1995, Page 108.
Isenberg, Michael, COVER, May , 1995, Page 51.Art & Auction
, April, 1993, "Let Us Now Praise Artist's Artists", p. 78-79.
Stapen, Nancy. "June Leaf's Emphatically Female Figure Imagery",The Boston Globe
, Dec. 5, 1991.
Yau, John. "Original Desire", ARTS Magazine
, November 1991, p. 40-45.
Richard, Paul. "June Leaf's Epiphanies & Other Delights", Washington Post,
April 14, 1991, P. G1
Grimes, Nancy. "Face Off", Artnews,
March 1990, p. 188
Gibson Garvey, Susan. "Head and Heart: A Celebration of June Leaf",ARTS
Atlantic 34, Spring/Summer 1989, pp. 40-44
Berlind, Robert. "June Leaf at Edward Thorp," Art in America
1988, pp. 195-6
Yau, John. "June Leaf," Artforum
, September 1988, pp. 137-8.
Schwabsky, Barry, "RL Kaplan/Gregory Crane/June Leaf," Arts,
September 1985, p. 37.
Jules and Nancy Heller, North American Women Artists of the 20th Century
* For references for these terms and others, see AskART Glossary http://www.askart.com/AskART/lists/Art_Definition.aspx