On View: December 17, 2022 –January 29, 2023
In her meticulously hand-cut streetscapes, Rosa Leff explores changing cities and the concept of time. Her subject matter is drawn from photos she took during her travels, including the destinations of Japan, China, Puerto Rico, and the U.S.
The exhibition features work Leff made pre-pandemic based on these images, alongside new work based on photos from the same travels. With a post-lockdown eye, she has discovered new details in the source material that were seemingly insignificant before and are now beautifully intriguing.
“These recent papercuts reveal the things I was unable to see before. In a photo of a busy market scene I discovered a man making eye contact with my camera, likely thinking that I was attempting to take his picture," Leff remarks. "In another I discovered a pigeon sitting watch over a crowded intersection. Each of these seemingly insignificant details combines to make a street a street. Nothing lasts forever, and memories fade, but in that beautiful blur that is nostalgia there is more to be discovered.”
About the Artist
Between painting alongside her grandmother and watching her father build reproduction antique furniture, Rosa Leff grew up seeing no distinction between fine art and craft. What mattered was that things were made by hand and done well. It is with that in mind that she creates her hand cut paper pieces. Leff delights in bringing a modern, urban perspective to a traditional folk medium.
Currently based in Baltimore, Leff has a BA with concentrations in art history and Spanish from Sarah Lawrence College and MS in elementary education from University of Pennsylvania. She was apprenticed to Alejandro Cordobés at Instituto Superior De Arte in Havana, Cuba. She exhibits nationally and internationally and her work is in the permanent collections of The Colored Girls’ Museum in Philadelphia and the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe.
View the Artist Talk (January 19, 2023)
Read the Article in the Washington Post