Marvin Liberman

My work reaches for a combined sense of vulnerability and strength, a duality that underlies all of my art. In sculpture the core material is gauze, and of late tree branches that extend the work to the floor. This inherent fragility is intentional and serves as a metaphor for our own sense of vulnerability, both physical and emotional. This way of working evolved from my own concerns for how people suffer the consequences of trauma inflicted on them, how that thing we call ‘body’ becomes marked by such experience, and how it then carries within it the whole history of what we have lived.

I work at a human scale, so that these pieces generate a physical and emotional encounter of being face to face, body to body, with one another, as if it were possible for a conversation to take place, for thoughts to be shared. For this reason, there’s a need for intimacy, so that for a few moments we can feel alone, absorbed in the presence of the ‘other’. And so they’re placed in a subdued and quiet ‘space’, lit from above, creating interplay between light and shadow, and revealing their drama.

In drawing, simply graphite and pencil have been my tools, along with a variety of erasers. Muted color is just beginning to appear as well. This work touches upon the tenuous balance, or its loss, that exists and is so central to human relationships. These drawings began as a means for understanding something of the primitive origins of line and mark as they evolved into visual and written language. Out of this, personal meaning has deepened in the drawings that continue to make use of those early origins.

Overall, I suppose my focus is on human nature, its vulnerabilities, its will to survive and the subconscious dramas that lie beneath our awareness of both oneself and others.
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For my most recent, ongoing series 'Traces' this text offers a reflection on this work.
Among these pieces there is a frequent gesture of implied movement, of limbs carrying them towards the onset of motion. They are figures … yet not human, not beast, but something else. And because each is difficult to define, they become enigmas, traces of corporeal life that retain a memory of where they have come from.


Entre estas piezas es frecuente el gesto del movimiento implícito, de las extremidades que las llevan hacia el inicio del movimiento. Son figuras... pero no humanas, no bestias, sino algo otro. Y como cada una de ellas es difícil de definir, se convierten en enigmas, huellas de vida corpórea que conservan un recuerdo de donde se vienen.


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Vita
Marvin Liberman resides and works in Madrid, Spain. Born in the United States, he has over the last 21 years lived first in La Paz, Bolivia and presently in Madrid. He began his art education at 15, continuing his studies at various institutions as well as two extended periods of assistant-ship and study in the studios of both a Serbian and Italian sculptor.

His art career has progressed through two distinct periods of work. While the first was dedicated to figurative sculpture and drawing, the more recent has moved to the abstract and the use of tarlatan gauze for its inherently subtle, fragile and ephemeral nature. As this work progresses tree branches have become the key partner to the cloth.

Between these two periods, he devoted numerous years to museum exhibition-related work: exhibition planning, design, public communications, lighting and installation.

His present work engages in a concern for tragic consequence, fragility, preverbal communication, the subconscious, and the use of light and darkness as an integrated part of its communicative potential.
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Exhibitions
Award & Exhibitions:

IMPERFECTO: UNA SENDA INCIERTA (IMPERFECT: AN UNCERTAIN PATH). Sept. 4-OCT. 5, 2019.
Espacio Primavera 9, Madrid. Solo exhibition: sculpture and drawings.

ESCULTURA: LÓGICO VS ANALÓGICO (SCULPTURE: LOGIC AND ANALOGIC). June-July 2018
Espacio Primavera 9, Exhibition of 16 sculptors exploring geometric abstraction in present day Spain while in my own case, the contrary: organic, intuitive form.

THE TAILOR’S FOREST. Site-specific sculptural work. Summer 2017
AZKEN MUGA CULTURAL FESTIVAL: Collado de Zárate (frontier between Gipuzkoa/the Basque Country, and Navarra, Spain)

LIMINAL/SUBLIMINAL: A PROCREATIVE SPACE. November, 2015–February 2016
Elberson Fine Arts Gallery, Winston Salem, North Carolina, USA. Exhibition on process and consciousness.

LUCES, SOMBRAS, DIÁLOGOS (LIGHT, SHADOW, DIALOGUES) July 2015
19th Annual Exhibition, MTG Sculptors Cooperative, San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain.

FROM GURS 2015. May-June 2015.
Askatasun Art Foundation, Gurs, France
1st Prize: Sculpture (purchase prize): competition in contemporary art related to the concept of Art and Liberty, honoring the history and suffering experienced at Gurs Internment Camp, Gurs, France, 1939-1944.
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Publications
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Group Exhibitions
ESCULTURA: LÓGICO VS ANALÓGICO (SCULPTURE: LOGIC AND ANALOGIC). June-July 2018
Espacio Primavera 9, Exhibition of 16 sculptors exploring geometric abstraction in present day Spain while in my own case, the contrary: organic, intuitive form.

Liminal/Subliminal: A Procreative Space
And exhibition of 11 artists concerning the artists’ process in pursuing consciousness through the act of art making.Elberson Fine Arts Center, Salem College, Winston Salem, North Carolina. November 20, 2015 through February, 2016. Later to be formed into traveling exhibition throughout the State of North Carolina.

AskatasunArte: From Gurs 2015
First Prize in Sculpture (purchase prize). exhibition competition for contemporary art in relation to the concept of Art and Liberty, in tandem with honoring the history and suffering at the Gurs Concentration Camp, Gurs, France, 1939-1944.

Traveling exhibition from;June 6th to Dec 31st, 2015: Gurs/Navarrenx, France; Irún, Spain; Bayonne, France; Bilbao, Spain; Guernica, Spain; Pamplona, Spain; Olorón, France, and several other possible venues.

Luces, Sombras, Diálogos (Light, Shadow, Dialogues)
19th Annual Exhibition, Mínimo Tamaño Grande Sculptors Cooperative, San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain, July 11th to July 23rd, 2015.
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IMPERFECT: an uncertain path
This exhibition is the first solo presentation of both sculpture and drawing in Madrid. It encompasses both free-standing and wall-hung works with an equal number of framed drawings
The Tailor's Forest
a site specific work done at the Azken Muga summer arts festival in the Basque Country, northern Spain in July, 2017. Composed of tree branches, sheared wool and hemp cord.
Marvin Liberman, Holz, Naturstoffe
Vessel 1
Free standing work made from tree branches, tarlatan gauze with light internal structure and color.
Marvin Liberman, Holz, Mixed Media
Vessel 2
Free-standing piece made with gauze cloth, tree branches and color.
Marvin Liberman, Holz, Textil
Vessel 6
Free-standing work made from tree branches, tarlatan gauze, color.
Marvin Liberman, Holz, Textil
Vessel 3
Wall mounted work made with tarlatan gauze, light internal structure, color, small tree branches.
Marvin Liberman, Textil, Holz
Discord 10
Wall-mounted work made from tarlatan gauze, light internal structure, wood, color.
Marvin Liberman, Textil, Holz
Discord 9
Wall-mounted work made from tarlatan gauze, light internal structure, color
Marvin Liberman, Textil, Mixed Media
Murmur 21
Wall-hung work made from tarlatan gauze, light internal structure, color
Marvin Liberman, Textil, Mixed Media
Murmur 22
Wall-mounted work made of tarlatan gauze, light internal structure, color
Marvin Liberman, Textil, Mixed Media
Murmur 25
Wall-hung work made of tarlatan gauze, light internal structure, color.
Marvin Liberman, Textil, Mixed Media
Drawings
B6 Nº42; B6 Nº48, B6 Nº60, B6 Nº61, B6 Nº20 Graphite alone; graphite and pastel & conte;
Marvin Liberman, Papier
Traces 5
Free-standing work using tree branches, cotton gauze and color.
Marvin Liberman, Holz, Textil
Traces 4
Free-standing work of tree branches, gauze fabric and color.
Marvin Liberman, Holz, Textil
Traces 3
Wall supported, nearly free-standing work in tree branches, gauze fabric and color
Marvin Liberman, Holz, Textil
Traces 2
Free-standing work in tree branches, gauze fabric and color 185cm x 179cm x 62cm
Marvin Liberman, Holz, Textil
Traces 1
Wall hung work in tree branches, gauze fabric and color
Marvin Liberman, Holz, Textil
Drawings
B7 Nº15, Nº7, Nº17, Nº11 Graphite/pencil/eraser
Marvin Liberman, Papier


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