FP Contemporary is pleased to announce the opening reception for “1977 Onward”, a retrospective solo exhibition featuring paintings by Tom Lieber, which were created between 1977 and 2017. Lieber is a Los Angeles-based abstract painter and printmaker. Lieber is a recipient of the Visual Artist Fellowship Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and his paintings are in the permanent collections at the Metropolitan Museum of Art NY, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Tate London, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Bolinas Museum, Honolulu Contemporary Museum, Fleming Museum, San Jose Museum of Art, Farnsworth Museum, Tucson Museum of Art, Newport Art Museum, Mount Holyoke College Museum of Art, Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts Santa Fe, University of Arizona Museum of Art, De Saisset Museum, Chrysler Museum, Bloomington Art Museum, Krannert Art Museum, St. Louis Art Museum, and Evanston Art Museum.
Tom Lieber is originally from St. Louis but moved to Berkeley in 1975 after finishing his BFA and MFA at the University of Illinois. Lieber’s career took off in 1982 when a woman named Diane Waldman traveled to California. Diane at that time was the deputy director at the Guggenheim Museum NY (Lieber said she was known as a "radical curator") and she was traveling the country in search of young artists she thought would be the next generation of talented emerging artists (see the link below to read the NY Times article about the exhibition). While at another artist's studio, Diane saw a book featuring twenty young painters from the Bay Area and Lieber was featured in the back of the book, and he was the only artist she was interested in. Lieber said she identified early that his paintings were structurally sound works and she "got" them. Diane's search culminated with an exhibition at the Guggenheim featuring Lieber and ten other emerging artists in 1983. The Guggenheim acquired two paintings, one in 1983 and another in 1985.
Shortly thereafter, Lieber became the first emerging artist to be represented by John Berggruen, a well-established art dealer in San Francisco. This launched Lieber to another level yet again. Next thing he knew, The Metropolitan Museum, NY purchased a painting from his "Crocodile Period" from Berggruen. Some artists fight their entire career to be "discovered" and never have a chance to grab that brass ring. Marty Margulies, a major art collector based in Miami who collects the likes of Picasso, Rothko, etc., also fell in love with Lieber’s paintings and has seven of them in his collection. Margulies eventually had to create a museum to house his massive collection and it is located in the Wynwood Art District in Miami.
Over time, other collectors who owned and loved Tom's paintings and ran out of room in their own homes began purchasing and donating/bequeathing works to MOCA LA, SFMOMA, High Museum in Atlanta, the Tate London, etc. A book is currently in the works about Tom and his paintings, including this exciting period in his life when his career skyrocketed.
Attached is a link to the 1983 NY Times article written about Tom's first Guggenheim exhibition that year:
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