Doris Leeper (American), Places Remembered XV (1993). Wood, styrene, paint. FSU MoFA 95.4a&b.
Places Remembered XV by Doris Leeper is a small, contemporary sculpture made up of two distinct parts: an upper, jagged segment and a lower, rectangular block. The upper portion draws attention because of its bright red hue and repeating geometric elements, resembling motion and rhythm in its consistency. It contrasts from the more simple and rectangular lower section, a rectangular prism that is black in color. The only alteration this block has is an incised line running along its exterior, with small red segments embedded within the line at regular intervals.
Form is seen in the three-dimensional composition of this piece and is focused heavily on geometric shapes and repeating patterns. The different elements in the upper and lower sections of this piece give Places Remembered XV two distinct ideas of motion, both illustrated by the use of form. In comparison to the top section, the lower section is less variable in its use of shape and conveys less movement. Texture further unifies the contrasting form and color of the sections. Although very visually different, both parts are made from the same medium of painted wood and have similar smooth textures.
Leeper’s use of black and red, two simple, bold colors, further highlight the complexity of her sculpture. Red was used to paint the top part of this piece, and without the distraction of additional colors, the shape of the dynamic upper portion can be seen and appreciated. The bottom part of the piece is a darker hue of black and, due to being less vivid and underneath the top section, does little to take away from the prominence of the red shapes.
The work was donated by Mr. and Mrs. Edward N. Harris. Doris Leeper, a sculptor and painter, worked with distinct geometric forms and strong, vivid colors. In 2016, a collection of her pieces was displayed in the exhibition Doris Leeper: Hard Edges at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum in Winter Park, Florida. She was inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame in 1999. The Doris Leeper Endowment and Doris Leeper Award for Excellence in Art Education were also established in her memory after her passing in 2000.
Places Remembered XV was originally intended for a pedestal positioned between Greener Conquests and Folding Triangles, down the center row of the WJB gallery space. With a bright red coloration, this piece by Leeper was to be emphasized for it’s complex, but systematic, features of form. It was placed in close proximity to the bright green, highly textured surface of Greener Conquests. Similarly, the vibrance of Places Remembered XV was enhanced by the white of Folding Triangles. The intended, 360-degree display would have allowed for a comprehensive study of these characteristics, both color and geometric shape, which work together to create this piece of contemporary art.