The Steven Kasher Gallery has announced its representation of the estate of Jerome Liebling (1924–2011) with the exhibition 'Jerome Liebling: Matter of Life and Death.' Curated by Liebling's daughter, filmmaker Rachel Liebling, the show includes both early vintage photographs and later large-scale prints in black and white and color. Spanning six decades, the 75 photographs in the show comprise a retrospective of selected works that explore the themes of youth, maturity, and death.
"My sympathies have always been with the everyday people; they are the center of my photography," Liebling said. "There is a sublime and special respect that is ordinary, but which I think I sometimes push to heights of importance." Former student Ken Burns called Liebling "a fierce warrior, insisting on a kind of justice, a kind of truth, and an utterly American vitality. He saw in every individual his or her own worth."
In light of our recent conversation, Jerome Liebling was a accomplished black-and-white photographer who really understood color. Steven Kasher Gallery has put up an extended slideshow of Liebling's work from the new exhibit. Or if you can get there in person, "Jerome Liebling: Matter of Life and Death" will be on view from March 13th to April 19th, 2014. Steven Kasher Gallery is located at 521 W. 23rd St., New York, NY 10011. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
(Thanks to Dave Sailer)
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Featured Comments from:
Kenneth Tanaka: "Looks like a terrific show, typical of the energy and effort Mr. Kasher puts behind representing his artists. His is among the best photo galleries in the world today. When I die I would like Steve Kasher to haul my work photos away. Thank you for the heads-up, Mike! I do not know much of Jerome Liebling's work but now must remedy that deficit."
JK: "'Men's hat shop' to me is about as lovely a color photograph as can be. I get an immediate, visceral sensation from a shot like this that I'm not sure B&W ever quite delivers. The problem is that you can look a long, long time before finding a shot that works that well in color. I have to admit that the main reason I shoot mainly in B&W is that for every really good color shot I see, I find about a hundred in monochrome."
David Miller: "This wonderful series of Liebling's photographs quite neatly spans my lifetime. Perhaps because of that, but more likely because of the nature of Liebling's artistry, I don't see the photography, I see the people and the times he photographed.
They are familiar people, particularly in the '40's and '50s—working class and rural, from a time when the people I knew were not so damned clean as they are now. Like my farm family they probably washed off the day's dirt in a basin and had a bath once a week before church or—for non-churchgoers like us—before driving into town on Saturday afternoon. Two sets of clothes (usually hand-me-downs) were sufficient: one on and one in the wash. (Plus one for Sundays or school concerts.)
"Perhaps that familiarity lies behind my preference for black-and-white photographs: those are the photographs in my family album, the photographs of the people and houses of my childhood—the time when I was most myself and least influenced by the alien world beyond the borders of my own."