Female Torso
Artist: Sharon Corgan Leeber
Location: Circulation Desk,
2nd Floor

In the 1970s sculptor Sharon Corgan Leeber was an active leader in the Dallas art gallery scene. The sculpture here is one of her polished chrome pieces from that time that represents the beginning of her venture into more abstraction of the human form. She sometimes began with car fenders and worked them into sleek sometimes sensual images of the torso and body.

In 1971 Janet Kutner of the Dallas Morning News described an exhibition of Leeber’s works as "solid anatomical abstractions welded primarily of bent and beaten car bumpers. Miss Leeber’s pieces in painted or polished welded steel and cast aluminum are far above the average level of regional sculpture I have seen in gallery situations here of late."

Most of the works were pedestal size of less than two feet but there were some large scale floor pieces that rose above eye level with figurative "twisting gestural motions." A notable set consisted of five brushed bronze pieces called "Forest Females," that showed contorted abstract personages. Today Leeber says, "I tried to buy back some of the work I made but have been unsuccessful."

Leeber taught sculpture and photography at El Centro College and taught at UT Dallas in the sculpture department in 1980. At UT Dallas she started the International Artists in Residence program. That same year she founded Architectural Arts Company (AAC) that initially specialized in working with architects, developers and landscape architects coordinating sculpture in public and large-scale development projects. She left teaching in 1981 and began working throughout the world as her Dallas-based company grew. She is an expert witness in the field of sculpture and is known as an expert of contemporary South African work, frequently lecturing about it.

The UT Dallas sculpture by Leeber was a gift in 1976 from award-winning UT-Arlington political science professor Allan Saxe. Saxe joined Arlington in 1965 and has become a well-known figure in North Texas because of his additional careers as a newspaper writer, radio commentator and television source. Not many realize the breadth of his philanthropy that has been mildly funded by his teaching salary and recently Social Security income. There is Allan Saxe Park, Allan Saxe Dental Clinic, Allan Saxe Field, Allan Saxe Parkway and some honorary titles such as the Allan Saxe Veggie Burger and Allan Saxe Ginger Cookie.

He has donated to hospitals, humane societies, Cowboys Stadium, women’s health centers, parks, college scholarships, theaters, churches, loan funds, and libraries. Early in his teaching career at UTA Saxe used his salary to purchase artwork on installment plans. He particularly liked the Contemporary Gallery at Dallas’ Quadrangle where he found Leeber’s works. After building a sizeable and varied collection over the years he gave most of it away. UT Dallas is one of the fortunate recipients of the UTA professor’s generosity. He also donated to the large landscaping projects around the central water mall and campus entry at UT Dallas.

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