TOM LIEBER: Recent Paintings
February 28 - April 4, 2009
Reception: February 28, 4-6pm
A pivotal moment in Stephen Aldrich’s artistic career occurred in 1968 when he met the influential photographer, Frederick Sommer. A musician and art student at Prescott College in Arizona, Aldrich was soon enlisted by Sommer to interpret his innovative, abstract musical scores, thus beginning a long relationship of mentoring and collaboration. In the last decade of Sommer’s life, Aldrich worked with him on an extraordinary group of collages, while at the same time, developing his own unique approach to the medium. Working with fine 19th century engravings as his source material, Aldrich cuts and pastes imagery with mind-boggling precision and complexity. There is an obsessive quality to the work in its dense overlappings, rhythms, repetitions and patterns that may, in part, be attributable to his background in music. The New York Times recently commented that Aldrich has “cleverly pasted” fragments into “wild collages of people, incidents and machinery to give an amusingly sardonic take on the Victorian Age.”
Concurrently, the gallery will present an exhibition of recent paintings by Tom Lieber. A painter of large, fluid abstractions, Lieber is, according to Carter Ratcliff, an artist whose work “invites us to note how complex the act of looking becomes when we attend carefully to its pleasures.” Commenting on his most recent works, Ratcliff revels in Lieber’s wide-open spaces inflected with jittery scrawls and sweeping streaks of paint, concluding that, although for some, formalism may have become old-fashioned, “Lieber’s paintings remind us that formalist analysis, often a necessity to be endured, becomes a pleasure to be sought out.” Each painting in this exhibition is loosely divided into two color fields, one atop the other, that meet at a “horizon” somewhere near the center. Lieber’s brush strokes explore below and impulsively shoot above this meeting point as if it were the intersection of earth and heaven, or consciousness and unconsciousness. Based in Hawaii, Tom Lieber’s paintings are in the collections of The Tate, Guggenheim, MOCA and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.