Artsy, by Tess Thackara
Jul. 30, 2018
Creating new forms is a mission for me,” said Juliana Cerqueira Leite, “a way of not reasserting the world as it is, but of positing a transformation.” Leite’s sculptures testify to one’s ability to transmute the world around them. Her work is often the result of casting her own body parts in clay or plaster—materials she is drawn to for their timelessness—and sometimes feature striated colors in shades of citrus, or finger marks that recall the work of David Altmejd.
Leite, who will open a solo show at New York’s Arsenal Contemporary in September, is interested in the parameters of the body and the space that it creates. Her sculpture Climb (2012), a gloopy white totem currently installed in a public square near London’s financial district, is made of gypsum, steel, and foam; the artist created it by physically tunnelling through a wooden column filled with wet clay, then casting the negative space left by her body.