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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Vita
Marvin Liberman resides and works in Madrid, Spain. Born in the United States, he has over the last 19 years lived 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 translucent tarlatan gauze for its inherently subtle, fragile and ephemeral nature. As this work progresses other materials are being included.

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:

Espacio Primavera 9 2018
Escultura: Lógico vs Analógico (Logic vs Analogic). Exhibition of 16 sculptors exploring both geometric abstraction in present day Spain and in my own case, the contrary: organic, intuitive form.

AskatasunArte: From Gurs 2015
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.
Traveling exhibition from June 6th to Dec 31st, 2015: Gurs/Navarrenx, France; Irún, Spain; Bayonne, France; Bilbao, Spain; Guernica, Spain; Olorón, France.

Luces, Sombras, Diálogos (Light, Shadow, Dialogues)
19th Annual Exhibition, MTG Sculptors Cooperative, San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain, July 11th to July 23rd, 2015.

Liminal/Subliminal: A Procreative Space
Elberson Fine Arts Gallery, Winston Salem, North Carolina, USA.
Exhibition on process and consciousness. Nov. 20, 2015 through Feb., 2016
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Publications
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Group Exhibitions
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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The Discord Series
It wasn’t clear to me, at first, why this series began. Something had to change in my work. I only sensed that forms needed more definition and the works wanted an independence from the wall they hung from. At the same time, the ongoing social and political disintegration that manifested itself then, and continues now, became an underlying concern in my work. Out of this came the title for the series, Discord.

As the process evolved, those changes were accompanied by doubt, confusion and at times conflict. The critical moment was with Discord 9, which began as a single, joined pair. Intuition said no, that the two forms had to be separated, each an entity in itself. And so they each hung precariously away from the wall, and that uncertainty was, and is, essential to the piece.

Subsequent works each move in different directions, testing the possibilities of unfamiliar forms, adding wood then branches, making contact with the floor, finally leaving the wall itself. Some have the trace of ‘bodies’, others only forms with no specific reference.

Color has itself been a struggle, functioning only through muted tones; forms that are awkward, wood that retains its rawness. Tension underlies all of these works, detecting elements of the nature of discord in our time.
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
Discord 14
Free standing work made from tree branches, tarlatan gauze with light internal structure and color.
Marvin Liberman, Holz, Mixed Media
Discord 13
Free-standing piece made with bare tree branches.
Marvin Liberman, Holz
Discord 12
Free-standing work made from tree branches, tarlatan gauze with light internal structure, color, hemp cord.
Marvin Liberman, Holz, Mixed Media
Discord 11
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

Marvin Liberman

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