The appearance of simplicity in this mid-career installation is a relief from the plethora of overtly expressionistic, mercilessly overwrought libidinal and self centered work that is choking gallery and museum exhibits these days. The exhibition travels to the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art and it is by no means ‘understated’ the Leonard exhibition creates a subtle field for encounter in not being overstated. It allows the visitor to enter through a kind of methodical meditation on objects, images and materials that predate the era of digital media, collected and arranged minimally.
A pair of black and white photographs titled, Water no. 1 + Water no. 2 from 1988 at the entrance demand concentration and are reminiscent of the central image in Michael Snow’s Wavelength and the piece echos an optical object made by Marcel Duchamp, Stéréoscopie à la main, or “Handmade Stereoscopy.” There is a pared down, almost dry sensation one gets from the ensemble of works. An extensive row of stacked books titled, How to Take Good Pictures, from 2018 holds a fine balance with views out the Whitney’s window wall, of the East River.