September 2 - October 2, 2010
Opening Reception: Thursday, September 2, 5:30-7:30 PM
Descend Ascend, an exhibition of new paintings by Tom Lieber will open at Dolby Chadwick Gallery on Thursday, September 2, 2010. Working in the evolving tradition of abstract painting that began in the early 20th century, Lieber’s grand gestural sweeps, tight scrawlings, and delicate, calligraphic strokes utilize the rich, open language of paint to translate often enigmatic states of inner being. References to cresting waves and the lush landscape of Kauai—Lieber’s adopted home—underscore the dual importance of the natural world as a source of inspiration. “We seem to be at a place of Descending after years of abusing the planet,” Lieber explains, referring to the title of his show. The act of Ascent and its promise of progress, however, is a metaphor for his faith that such destruction will slowly be mended over time. Christopher Knight, critic for the Los Angeles Times, alludes to this environmental subtext, citing how Lieber’s application of paint is stylistically “atmospheric, like fog banks of shifting color slipping over a landscape.”
In the past, Lieber has typically layered these assorted notations against two fields of color that meet to create a horizon approximately halfway down the composition. This horizon, however, has mysteriously dematerialized in many of his newest works. In Black and White Shift and Fin, for instance, it is as if Lieber has magnified smaller sections of earlier paintings, transforming modest marks into churning, storm-like masses often coded in black. While this new direction is indicative of artistic maturation, his abstract compositions continue to depict the layered complexities and rich color schemes he has become known for.
Tom Lieber was born in Saint Louis, Missouri in 1949 and graduated from the University of Illinois with both a B.F.A (1971) and M.F.A. (1974). He received a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts in 1975 and, over the course of his career, his work has been acquired by the Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and the Tate Collection, London. This will be Leiber’s first solo show at Dolby Chadwick Gallery.