“I have been asked many times why I dedicate myself so completely to painting – I do it because I must. Life has meaning to me only through my work. My interest in life is based on my art and it is the connection I have with reality.”
Norman Leibovitch first became known in the province of Quebec during the 1940’s following a string of highly praised solo exhibitions. A contemporary and acquaintance of renowned Montreal artists such as Louis Muhlstock, Moe Reinblatt and Sam Borenstein, Leibovitch’s work has been shown across North America in major cities such as Montreal, Toronto and New York.
In his first posthumous exhibition, being held at the Galerie d’art d’Outremont from August 17, 2004 through September 3, 2004, the public is invited to a rare viewing of more than 60 oil paintings covering the artist’s early career until his death in 2002.
Leibovitch studied as a scholarship student at the American Artist School in New York City, and later at the New York Art Students League under the famous sculptor William Zorach. As a Montreal native, however, the artist chose to return to his home city where he worked prolifically, resulting in a present day collection of over 1,000 paintings. He is most recognized for his large scale female nudes, Quebec landscapes and paintings depicting Jewish themes.
Leibovitch’s gestural brush strokes, use of texture and striking choice of colour fill his paintings with a vitality that is strikingly modern for a Canadian painter trained in the 1930’s. During the 1940’s, while many Quebec artists looked to Europe, particularly the trends of Paris, for inspiration, Leibovitch travelled to Mexico and Israel to broaden his artistic experience. His use of form, line and colour evolved over the decades, and although at times his figurative work leans more towards the abstract, he never completely gave into abstraction, allowing his subjects to remain the focus of his works.
Although Leibovitch was highly regarded amongst his peers and critics, as a result of his extremely private and stubborn nature, he refused to publicly show his work for most of the 1950’s and again in the 1970’s. Nonetheless, during these periods he worked steadily and there exists hundreds of canvases that have yet to be viewed by the public. The last retrospective of his work was held in 1980, and so it is with great pleasure that the Galerie d’art d’Outremont is honoured to reintroduce the works of this accomplished Montreal artist.
Join us on February 28 to celebrate the arrival of this new exhibit at the Locus!
Music and complementary drinks provided starting at 8pm.
Check out more of Norman’s pieces on his website: