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Marvin Liberman - Introduction

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.

Artworks (20)

Marvin Liberman, 2021

3 Confinement in Color drawings

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Marvin Liberman, 2021

Traces Nº 6

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Marvin Liberman, 2021

Traces Nº7

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Marvin Liberman, 2021

Confinement Drawings: 5 of 15 works

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Marvin Liberman, 2021

Traces 5

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Marvin Liberman, 2020

Traces 4

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Marvin Liberman, 2020

Traces 3

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Marvin Liberman, 2020

Traces 2

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Marvin Liberman, 2020

Traces 1

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Marvin Liberman, 2019

Vessel 6

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Marvin Liberman, 2019

Drawings

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Marvin Liberman, 2019

Vessel 2

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Marvin Liberman, 2018

Drawings

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Marvin Liberman, 2018

Vessel 1

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Marvin Liberman, 2018

Vessel 3

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Marvin Liberman, 2018

Discord 9

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Marvin Liberman, 2017

The Tailor's Forest

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Marvin Liberman, 2017

Discord 10

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Marvin Liberman, 2015

Murmur 25

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Marvin Liberman, 2015

Murmur 22

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Events (1)

Exhibition Member event

Marvin Liberman: IMPERFECT... an uncertain path

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