Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Norman Leibovitch Paintings from You Tube

I'm not sure how to explain this but let me try.  I have always said that if a piece of  art has done its job if it evokes a strong emotion within me.  That means, looking so deep within the painting that you can sense the the soul of the artist.

I find this within the works of Norman Liebovitch.  There is a deep sense of despair. To be fair, the music may contribute to that feeling and too, the presence of Munsch's, 'The Scream', in the news lately.

There are elements of Munsch's style within Leibovitch's work. But there is much more. The paintings we see cover a wide range of the human experience. Its a tableau of life.  Some of the paintings look like they were reproduced from the Lasceaux caves, or the Peterborough Petroglyphs.

The pictures run the gamut from a mediaeval style portrait, to prison barbed wire, from factories and lonely streets to people who look into the world through solitary, introspective, and saddened eyes. There is that ever present sense of despair within the human condition. Its existential, in that it says that our lives are spent within the walls of social prisons which are beyond our control.

Its important to look at Leibovitch's works within the social context of his age.  He was Jewish, and he painted within the 40's, 50's and early 60's.  He painted through the years when  the Jews of Europe were subjected to horrible Nazi atrocities and when humanity was mobilized and controlled by great political and social forces.   He was painting through the period when Albert Camus was existentially struggling to define the freedom of individuals. When viewed from this perspective, Leibovitch  gives us a dark image of man's inner landscape.  He is  more then a painter. He's an artist who observes and inteprets the relationship between man and his world.

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful article about a wonderful artist. What you wrote about his art is exactly what i feel, you nailed it. I first learned about Norman Leibovith when a bought a painting in an auction. It really spoke to me. It represent two persons that are almost unreal, not sure of where they are or who they are. But the feeling i get is "doux-amer" giving me both joy and sadness.For me it speaks about the human condition, about the loneliness and the love we feel for our loved ones which make us vulnerable as we will surely be one day separated. It's beside my bed and it's the first thing i see in the morning and also the last at the end of the day. It grounds me.


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