"Maquettes for Monuments"


Alexander Liberman: Maquettes for Monuments
March 12 - April 13, 2002
Opening Reception, Saturday, March 2, 5-8pm

Manny Silverman Gallery
619 N. Almont Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90069
(310) 659-8256, fax (310) 659-1001
Web site,
Hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 10am - 5pm

Manny Silverman Gallery is pleased to present "Alexander Liberman: Maquettes for Monuments." This exhibition will open on Saturday, March 2 and remain on view through Saturday, April 13. It will consist of five maquettes for large sculpture and four additional works.

Alexander Liberman was born in 1912 in Kiev Russia. His father was in the timber business and his mother was involved in the Russian theater. In 1921 the Libermans left the Soviet Union, and Alexander studied first in London and then in Paris. He took courses in philosophy and mathematics at the Sorbonne and architecture at Ecole des Beaux-Arts. In the 1930s Liberman designed stage sets, worked briefly with a landscape architect. and worked on the staff of "Vu," the first magazine illustrated with photographs. Consequently, he became friends with Cartier Bresson, Brassai and Kertesz. Liberman began his publishing career as an assistant in the art department, moved on to become art director, then managing director. He even used a nom de plume to write their film reviews. In 1936 Liberman left the magazine and devoted himself to painting, writing and filmmaking.

In 1940 the Liberman family escaped to the unoccupied zone in France, then to Spain, and eventually to New York in 1941. A friend helped him gain employment at VOGUE magazine and twenty years later, in 1962, he was appointed Editorial Director of all Conde Nast Publications, a position he held until he retired in 1994. During his long tenure at VOGUE, Liberman commissioned artists such as: Cornell, Dali, Chagall, Duchamp, Braque, Rauschenberg, Johns to work on projects for the magazine. He was the only publisher granted the rights to reproduce images of Matisse's chapel in Vence, France. He also had Jackson Pollock's paintings used as a backdrop for a fashion shoot by Cecil Beaton, as there was no other way to get Pollock's work reproduced in the magazine. Liberman's "day job" offered him a highly unusual position in the art world.

By the mid-1950s, Liberman was exhibiting his own paintings and photographs in galleries and museums around New York. In 1959 Liberman learned to weld steel and he quickly began making sculpture on a scale that required industrial machinery. By 1963 he had hired an assistant to do all of the grinding and labor required to make large sculpture. He embraced the industrial scale of America that had so impressed him on his arrival to here in 1941.

One of his first public commissions was from the architect Philip Johnson for a pavilion at the 1963 World's Fair. Other important commissions quickly followed, and over the next decade he purchased additional equipment and hired additional personnel to meet the increasing demand for and scale of his sculpture. In this sense his "day job" was supporting his passion for making large public sculpture.

Alexander Liberman died in November, 1999 at the age of 87. His sculpture and painting are included in the collections of some of the world's most prestigious museums, such as the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Museum of Modern Art, the Corcoran, Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Tate Gallery in London, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In addition, Storm King Art Center, the most important contemporary sculpture park in America, has three monumental Liberman sculptures in it's collection. His public sculpture can be seen in over 40 cities around the world, including three that are located in Los Angeles.

Openings at West Hollywood Galleries
The galleries in West Hollywood located on Melrose, Almont and Robertson will jointly open their exhibitions on Saturday, March 2 from 5-8pm. For additional information or photographic material, please contact Linda Hooper, Director at 310.659.8256.

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