Justin Lieberman

Blondeau & Cie

September 24, 2010

Justin Lieberman
PlatYtudes

16 September – 23 December 2010

5 rue de la Muse
1205 Geneva – Switzerland
T +41 (0)22 544 95 95
F +41 (0)22 544 95 99
muse [​at​] bfasblondeau.com

www.bfasblondeau.com

On 16 September 2010, to coincide with the “Nuit des Bains” in Geneva, BFAS Blondeau Fine Art Services is delighted to present an exhibition by the American artist Justin Lieberman, entitled PlatYtudes, at its space at 5 rue de la Muse.

The works in Justin Lieberman’s new exhibition, PlatYtudes, relate to one another by way of linguistic structures, which are disrupted and left unresolved. Lieberman poured large pools of resin into and around found thrift store frames, allowing the material to dictate the final form. Each work is further organized by a color scheme, the first color of which is influenced by the overall shape, which is then referred to in the title of the work, lending a narrative framework to the piece. Within each work, color corresponds to a series of photographs, each of which features a stuffed platypus depicted in various “state changes.” Like the personal objects incorporated throughout the large wall works, the platypus is a proxy for the artist, and is a reoccurring motif in Lieberman’s work. Folded into this tightly bound linguistic system, these additions represent a relinquishing of an objective role in relation to the system.

Justin Lieberman suggests the following fairy tale as a mnemonic device for the relationships between the pieces in the show:

The Hunter strolls across the dunes in his camouflage suit and a bright orange hat that recalls the color of a heating coil glowing beneath a tea kettle. A chill wind flicks cynically at his lapels. The sand of the beach is formed not in curves, but in oddly intersecting planes, as though it were made of glass. It is sunset and a single wisp of cloud floats across the scene. Its whiteness is that of the ceiling fan in the Hunter’s house, which produces the air that keeps him cool on hot days. The Hunter looks out to sea and spies a squid in the shape of a police car. Its flashing red siren is the color of another fan. The tiny one in his freezer which turns water into ice. He passes a Christmas tree stuck improbably into the sand. It is green bedecked with red ribbon. A single chrome ornament is suspended from it and the Hunter examines his reflection there. He thinks of the faucet in the sink that brings him fresh water. His home is filled with such comforts, like the television with its dark wooden cabinet and the wood he uses for fuel in his hearth. The Hunter is whistling a merry tune. Presently, the Hunter arrives at Baba Yaga’s house, the ice-cream house on chicken legs. The house is alive, but a distended black lung signals the coming end of this condition. It is like the night seen through his window: impenetrable. The Hunter spies Baba Yaga’s pet, an enormous cow-colored slug, or perhaps it is a slug-shaped cow. Its bright pink rear throws the Hunter into reverie. The pet becomes a beautiful young woman clad in a white fur coat and she silently beckons the Hunter. He imagines the pink of the skin that once grew the fur.
“May I enter your house?” inquires the Hunter.
“It is possible,” replies Baba Yaga, who now reveals herself as the personification of desire.
“Then I will wait.”
The Hunter waits and waits. He offers all he has to Baba Yaga that she might permit him entry to her house. He even gives his own house to her, with all its comforts. She accepts this, but tells the Hunter that she does so only so that he does not feel as though he is a failure.
The Hunter continues to wait until he is about to die. He asks Baba Yaga, who has remained ageless and beautiful even as the Hunter has become old and decrepit,
“Everyone seeks you. Why has no one else arrived in all these years?”

Born in 1977 in Gainesville, Florida, Justin Lieberman lives and works in New York. He received his MFA from Yale University, New Haven and his BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

This exhibition is organized in collaboration with Marc Jancou Contemporary, New York.

A 64-page monograph has recently been published by JRP|Ringier.

Press packs and HD illustrations will be available on request.