Thursday, March 22, 2012

Alexander Liberman - The Way

Alexander Liberman was born in Russia in 1912, but his family relocated to London in 1921. After four years they moved again, this time to Paris. Liberman graduated from the Sorbonne, then studied painting and architecture at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. He moved to New York City in 1941 and began a career at Vogue magazine, quickly rising to become its Art Director. In 1962, he became Editorial Director of all Conde Nast publications, a position he held until 1994.
A parallel career began in the mid-forties when Liberman returned to painting, creating, gestural abstractions followed by hard edged geometric compositions. In 1959, he studied welding and was awarded his first solo exhibition in the following year by the Betty Parsons Gallery, where he showed his new sculptures along with the paintings. Philip Johnson, the noted American architect, commissioned Liberman’s first large public sculpture in 1964 and the artist was granted many others in following years. (Liberman passed away in 1999.)
Liberman’s sculptures are known for their monumental size and their compositions of tubular steel elements, thrusting upwards and precariously balanced. The constructions are industrially fabricated and are often coated in monochromatic hues. The Way (above) is on display at the Laumeier Sculpture Park in St. Louis.

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