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Michele Liebler: New Paintings > Additional Information

First Street Gallery

Michele Liebler
- Additional Information -

The First Street Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of the first exhibition of paintings by contemporary artist Michele Liebler. A reception for the artist will be held Saturday, March 4 from 5 to 7 PM.

Fourteen paintings probe pictorial ideas that have occupied the artist for several years. Ms. Liebler practices a painterly representation that honors historical traditions while it focuses on the objects and obsessions marking the creative life of a contemporary woman. Her subject matter revolves around mirrored images, pictures-within-pictures and, most incisively, her own straight  forward image glimpsed in an uncompromising glass.

William Zimmer, writing in The New York Times, characterized her work by remarking that "looking outward is something of a leitmotif." He described her tense, frontal Self-Portrait in the Studio as "compelling." Eileen Watkins, writing in Star Ledger, called Liebler a "soulful" painter who "has a particular gift for giving inanimate objects personalities."

Nothing is neutralized or treated decoratively. Shoes on the floor, recalling Van Gogh’s clogs, transcend the particular, becoming emblems of a faceted personality requiring different  guises. Views of the body parts--the partial figure a form of abstraction emphasizing the modern  compulsion to invent new images of man--culminate in references to the art historical influences that engage Liebler’s attention. Fragments of anatomy become stand-ins for a fragmented culture that seeks its center in the works of the masters.

Viewed in its entirety, the work raises a question: does the artist’s most significant experience come directly, or through the shaping influences of tradition? Is the artist interested  primarily in the world or in what it means?

Ms. Liebler has exhibited extensively on the East Coast in such venues as the Parrish Art Museum, Southhampton, NY; Arnot Art Museum, Elmira NY; College of Notre Dame, Baltimore, MD; University of Pittsburgh, PA; National Academy of Design, NYC; the Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown,OH; Creative Arts Workshop, New Haven, CT.

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