Born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1949, artist Tom Lieber received an MFA from the University of Illinois in 1974. Shortly after graduating he relocated to San Francisco to fulfill his affinity with Bay Area painting. In 1975 Lieber was a recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts; in 1982 he was selected for the Emerging American Artists’ Exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum in New York curated by Diane Waldman, and was shortly thereafter invited to join Berggruen (FKA John Berggruen Gallery). In 1983 Lieber began making large-scale monotypes with Garner Tullis at Experimental Press. Through Tullis he has met John Walker, Sean Scully, Friedel Dzubas, Helen Frankenthaler, Sam Francis, William Wiley and others. Since the mid-1980s, Tom Lieber's work has been shown and celebrated internationally; it comprises such permanent collections as the Guggenheim Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles; and the Tate Gallery in London. In the 2000 the artist moved to Kauai and has continued painting works largely influenced by the environment of Hawaii. Lieber now divides his time between Los Angeles and Kauai.
Friesen Gallery has represented Tom Lieber for over 25 years, at the start of which Lila Roo was only three-years-old. Lila Roo lives and works on the island of Bequia in the West Indies where she creates sculptures with materials found on the beach, primarily plastic. She collects, braids and binds these materials, both re-purposing and celebrating them. In the same way Buddhists spin prayer wheels, her work emanates good vibrations.
My work is centered on human energy.....experiencing, feeling, receiving, expressing. While in Berkeley California, in the 70's and 80's, I involved myself with different forms of human energetic possibilities......Aikido, Jazz, Psychic Awareness, Wilhelm felt supported in my exploration of these forms for nourishment to paint. My work has been a rich and fulfilling time for me.
Beginning in the 80's with the Pincerlike images of the Guggenheim Exhibition and moving closer and closer, year by year, to center; the paintings exude Lieberness. I found comfort and support, in studying the lives and works of artists Georgio Morandi, Alberto Giacometti, Vincent Van Gogh, Vermeer, James Ensor, Phillip Guston and Alexander Calder.
The point of my new paintings is to project this V-shape, which is a symbol to me of a powerful shape. It’s come out of my work with the human figure and the lower-torso shape, and it’s an honoring of the female and the power of the human center.
— TOM LIEBER