Thin wood stripping on sides.
Monochromatic, abstracted cityscape skyline created with a palette of varying blue hues. Buildings are suggested with short, determined brushstrokes and reduced to simple geometric shapes.
Lionel Gilbert moved back and forth between abstraction and figuration, at once describing specific objects and presenting flat, unrecognizable forms. The artist, born in 1912, was a prolific painter from the nineteen-thirties until his death. For years, Gilbert worked as a mural artist and an illustrator, creating images that not only represented reality, but documented history. In the sixties, Gilbert’s direction shifted: no longer using the paint to tell stories, Gilbert began to explore what the paint itself—its materiality, color—can reveal, independent of its descriptive capacity. Gilbert's work calls to mind Matisse, Braque, and Leger in their cubist sensibility and handling of space.
Series: Lionel Gilbert experienced a long and commendable career as an artist, a teacher and an illustrator. He succeeded in all aspects of his career because he found ways to remain versatile and adapt to a changing world so he could continue to produce his art. Gilbert became enthralled with art at an early age and began his artistic training early in New Jersey at the Newark School of Fine & Industrial Art in 1924. Upon graduating, the young artist moved to France to further his studies before returning to the states at the dawn of WWII where he began teaching as part of Chicago's W.P.A program and created large murals in public buildings across the country. He later worked as an illustrator for mainstream magazines depicting the quintessential American household until the war when he served as an on-site Air Force artist in England depicting various aspects of military life. In 1965 Gilbert traded traditional American illustration for abstract painting and enjoyed a full time career as an artist, exhibiting in New York City’s galleries. This body of work highlights Gilbert's unique studies of still lifes from a cubist perspective. Gilbert also enjoyed teaching at the 92nd Street Y Art Center in Manhattan for nearly forty years. Carrie Haddad Gallery currently represents the Gilbert Estate.
Signature: signed Lionel Gilbert, lower left hand corner