Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Curator's Notes: Spotlight on Barbara Lubliner

Barbara Lubliner, Muscle, 1997

Barbara Lubliner's sculpture Muscle expresses the very heart and soul of Bosom Bodies.  Far from defined by our biceps' muscle strength like men, the breast gives women their greatest powers!  For the female breast is the location of sustenance and sensuality - the ability to nourish as a mother figure and to seduce for sexual pleasure.  Muscle seems to say that every woman is Superwoman each and every day.

Barbara Lubliner, Suckling Tower, 1992

Barbara calls her work "Aspects of the Female Experience."  In her artist's statement, she explains:  "In this work, the female figure is abstracted, altered, and reconstructed to express a complexity of associations. The forms uncover insight into grappling with the complex layers of meaning in our contemporary world and in the shared primal world of generations of women.   I aim to make meaningfully charged expressive figures that invite the viewer to chuckle and to contemplate gender anew."
Barbara Lubliner, Mother and Child, 1996

Barbara's four contributions to Bosom Bodies summarize the quintessential female experiences: physical and mental accomplishment as individuals, motherhood, and nurturer par excellence at home, at work and in the community.  Over the millennia, women have increased their responsibilities by taking on roles outside the immediate family unit.  They often balance numerous identities to meet the expectations of others and themselves, contributing to an ever expanding concept of the female in society  No longer bound to the kitchen and nursery, women envision "having it all" successfully, every step of the way. Barbara seems to narrate our inner feelings as we forge these paths.

 Barbara Lubliner, Sun Ripe Venus, 1992

In  Sun Ripe Venus, we see the pregnant belly hanging heavily like a luscious fruit from its leafy vine. Here the female form recalls the classic recumbent nude, transformed from a traditional sexual object to a sensual ripening force of nature, at peace with herself in all her fecundity.  Eventually, she becomes Mother and Child, protecting her offspring with her nurturing, comforting body.  But eventually, the burdensome chore of mothering, partnering, and all the rest, feels like the Sucking Tower, weighed down with endless needs that require immediate attention.  Here we see numerous breasts hanging down, pulling on the figure's garment as she leans in to withstand the strain. 

Barbara Lubliner, "Muscle Performance," at A Place at the Table, Brooklyn Museum, 2007

However, all is not gloom and doom in Barbara's work,  In her performances with muscle armbands, she injects plenty of humor and optimism with her chant: "It's power. I'ts power. It's power for the flower!  Work it!  Work it! We can do it!"   In 2007 she performed in A Place at the Table, in the Elizabeth Sackler Wing at the Brooklyn Museum

Barbara Lubliner, Plastic Bottle Sculpture, 2012

Barbara also joined the recycling/repurposing art movement, as have Ruby Silvious and Wilhelmina Obatola Grant.  In the photo above, she demonstrates creating an octahedron out of 30 plastic bottles in 5 minutes.

We are so fortune to have Barbara Lubliner, a NYC artist, with us to celebrate "bosom power" in Peekskill.  Her work is also featured in Duality: Glimpses of the Other Side at, Islip Art Museum, through October 15th, and most recently,  Hampden Gallery at UMASS Amherst,  Ceres Gallery, NYC, and Carter Burden Gallery, NYC.

* * * 

Bosom Bodies remains on view through Sunday, October 29th.  Please join us on:
Sunday, October 22 for the Curator's Lecture "The History of the Breast in Art," 2 pm.
Sunday, October 29 for our Performance Art, Artists' Panel and Closing Reception, 3 - 5 pm.

SIA Gallery, 1 South Division Street, Peekskill, NY 10566
Gallery Hours: Friday, Saturday, Sunday, 12 noon- 5 pm.

For more information, please contact the curator Beth S. Gersh-Nesic, director of the New York Arts Exchange, nyarts.exchange@verizon.net

Bosom Bodies is a 

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