Meyer Lieberman Solo Show at the Woodstock Artists Association & Museum
February 12 – March 6
Reception: Saturday, February 12, 4-6pm
The art of longtime Woodstock resident Meyer Lieberman will be the subject of a one person exhibition in the solo gallery at the Woodstock Artists Association & Museum beginning Saturday, February 12. Lieberman, throughout his prolific career stretching back more than a half century, has never been content to repeat himself. Always looking ahead to the next idea, he is still drawing as he nears 90 years old.
Beginning in Brooklyn with religious subjects inspired by his personal reading and interpretation of the Bible, Lieberman later turned his attention to secular matters, including music. He was particularly captivated by the concerts he and his wife Nina attended at the Maverick after their move to Woodstock in the 1970s. A Schubertian Note, a particularly charming example of his musical paintings, shows a string quintet in mid-flight. The musicians are rendered in Lieberman’s pointillist style which included not only characteristic tiny dots of color, but also playfully inventive patterns filling flat shapes creating a counterpoint between representation and abstraction.
Lieberman explored multiple variations on the pointillist theme as he progressed to landscapes and portraits. The wondrous Night Skaters depicts small figures slicing through the moonlight on a frozen pond. Each figure has its own muted pattern and the sky is filled with hundreds upon hundreds of dots that both create a color field and depict the starry cosmos. The overall effect shimmers in silence.
The most recent work in this exhibition shows Lieberman moving into new territory once again, leaving the dots and circles behind and delving into the rhythms and counter rhythms of linear cubism. Jazz has replaced classical music, trombones and saxophones have replaced violins and violas, as syncopated striped forms dance across the surfaces painted in gouache and accented with pastel.
There is a joy in much of Lieberman’s work that runs like a leitmotif through this exhibition. You can easily see it in his loving portrait of his wife and in the playfulness of the cats that inhabit several of his pictures, a joie de vivre that seemed to grow stronger and flourish in Woodstock.