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Top 10 to Watch: Jerome Liebling at Steven Kasher Galelry

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Matter of Life and Death

Exhibition Dates: March 13 - April 19, 2014


Opening Reception: March 13th

 6:00 – 8:00 pm


There is a sublime and special respect that is ordinary, but which I think I sometimes push to heights of importance.   
                       - Jerome Liebling


Jerome Liebling’s images are touching and intimate.  The direct connection made between subject and photographer resonates in his frames and in a flash we are brought into the moment. It is Liebling’s subject’s direct gaze that implicates us, and in the simple every-day occurrences he captured we feel the pulse of life, its truth, its joy and grit.


Liebling grew up in Brooklyn as the son of European immigrants.  During World War II Liebling enlisted to fight in a cause he believed in and went on to serve in the 82nd Airborne.  His wartime experience had a profound affect on him and caused him to develop a staunch anti-war sentiment that endured his entire lifetime.  These experiences are what honed his focus on the daily battles of life itself; often his subjects were the marginalized or overlooked.  


Images themselves are rhythmic and smooth.  Our eyes often catch the subjects directly and when they do they lock we are held.  It is difficult to move out of these frames as the satisfaction of the image entwines us.   In tight portraits we may find ourselves floating through the scenes on coat wings or hat brims, chains or clothing’s folds.  Sometimes the work is a little more spatially inclusive, and we wander unexpectedly between shoulders or tree limbs, through faces in the crowd, or catch a stranger in the decisive moment of a passing glance.  There seems always to be a secret revealed in the works, and though they are of the every day there is something both magical and piercing about them. 


The show includes both early vintage photographs and later large-scale prints in black and white and color, and was curated by his daughter, filmmaker Rachel Liebling.  Spanning six decades, the 75 photographs in the show comprise a retrospective of selected works that explore the themes of youth, maturity, and death. 


Liebling attended the Brooklyn College under the G.I. Bill and studied design with the painter Ad Reinhardt and photography with Walter Rosenblum. In 1948, Liebling joined the Photo League, a socially minded photographers’ cooperative, where, along with Paul Strand, W. Eugene Smith and Aaron Siskind.


Jerome Liebling's photographs are held in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington; and the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, among many others.

For more information on this exhibition, please visit Steven Kasher Gallery


The exhibition was named as one of MutualArt’s Top 10 Openings to watch.


Tags:  Jerome Liebling  Steven Kasher Gallery 

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