Art

These Kids Today, 201515. Lessons Lost and Unlearned, 2015_52_56.jpg10_2013_In The Garden Wet with Rain_52_72.JPG11__In the Moment_6_12.JPG11_2013_A Focus on Fun_12_12.JPG11_2013_All Together Now_6_12.JPG11_2013_American Narrative_12_12.JPG11_2013_Dont Try This at Home_12_12.JPG11_2013_Feast_6_12.JPG11_2013_It Is the Best_12_12.JPG11_2013_Signs Of_12_24.JPG11_2013_Take These Home_6_6.JPG11_2013_The Conversation_6_6.JPG12_2013_Cowboy_6_12.JPG12_2013_Speaking Their Minds_6_12.JPG3_2014 Mythic Footstep 46_53.JPG4_2014 How Did You Sleep Last Night_6_12.JPG4_2014_For a Long Life_12_12.JPG4_2014_The Forever Girl_12_12.JPGProcess in the studio 2.JPGProcess in the studio 3.JPGProcess in the studio.JPGphoto2.JPGphoto3.JPGc98-16. Mary Quite Contrary_2012.JPGc61-DSC_1617 (759x1024).jpgc86-17. Still Life_2012.JPGc56-DSC_1626 (806x1024).jpgc22-DSC_1625 (804x1024).jpgc55-DSC_1623 (819x1024).jpgDSC_1613.JPGDSC_1614.JPGc88-DSC_1615 (740x1024).jpg9. Harmony of the Gathered II 11_2004.jpgDSC_1630.JPG

collage works by David Michael Lieb

Background

I find the process of collage to be very intuitive. In my early works it was uncommon for me to start a new piece having a pre-conceived notion of what the work would be about or would become in its finished form. With time, age and experiences, the works have become more deliberate with the process of making becoming an integral part.

In 1987, I started painting on small 4” x 6” hard canvases with a limited color palette. The small works were expressive and impressionistic most notably of the Williamsburg Bank in Brooklyn, NY. Over the course of 25 years the work has transformed from the small canvases into larger pieces with layers of paper collage (recycling packing paper and tissues and newspaper clippings), with layers of acrylic paints and ink washes.

As my work with collage has evolved, I have explored different adhesive methods from basic Elmer’s Glue to varied gel mediums, decoupage mediums and varnishes. The acrylic varnishes yield the most versatility as a decoupage medium and extender allowing longer work with the acrylic paints and washes.

The more recent three-dimensional, layered, shadowbox Collagescapes draw from both old and current sources for visual information but also include newspaper text, a staple of my collage work since the late 1980’s. These small works present layers or snapshots into visual assemblages and CollageScapes that have been described as “wistful.” The CollageScapes often juxtapose Modern and period imagery including humans, nature and architecture. The daily human experience is explored through snapshots of reality, memory, nostalgia, faith and vision. The work invites you, the viewer, to contemplate the inherent contradictions in Modern life, reflecting on your own experiences and landscapes.

A large format 3-D collage incorporating a mannequin to depict “Eve” is making her second appearance in this show. The large format collage depicts “Eve” as independent, resilient, spirited, intellectual, and the “mother of them all” as identified by text on the work. Eve is all women, integral with the five elements depicted through color, blue (water); green (wood); red (fire); yellow (earth); white (metal). A recessed, illuminated, shadow box in Eve’s torso contains scrolls and book of knowledge, Adam’s Rib, and the Golden Apple, the first temptation.

 

These Kids Today – collage works by David Michael Lieb September 3-29, 2015

The works presented in this show represent different collage processes.

The first process, seen in the two dimensional works, involves stapling rolled canvas to a large, vertical wall surface, marking out the bounds or size and then performing an initial mapping with a charcoal stick. The mapping is used more to engage the blank canvas (especially if starting a piece without a prepared sketch). The intervention on the canvas begins as deliberate then quickly follows more intuitive directions. The piece develops  and is inspired mostly by an initial idea that most often grows out of the clipped text and images collected. Most of the applied materials used in the works are kept in a “toy box” of sorts along with newspaper clippings of words and phrases that are accumulated over time. The text is revealing and meaningful to each work.  Humanistic faces and formal shapes are often visible in the more abstract works.

The second process, seen as CollageScapes in shadow box collage, follows a similar process when preparing for large format works, but involves more time searching for subject matter often at public library books sales and newspapers. The cutting process is reflective, quiet, and careful and where much of the initial intuitive editing takes place. The process to organize compositions, address perspective and light and shadow in 3D layers, develops landscapes that often have a social message or speak to the nostalgic juxtaposed with Modernity.

In the most recent works, nature, natural elements and their interaction with humans are at the forefront. The title work of the show completed July 2015, These Kids Today, presents another layer in the contextual “garden” represented by several prior works. The mother and child(ren) take prominence above an almost ruinous built landscape with three textual flowers and three smaller flowers looking to the light for food. Native elders represent the displaced and the forgotten, women of the past and present stand as angels watching over the garden scene unfolding.

 

David Michael Lieb, 2015

 

 

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