Christine Mayer

Justin Lieberman

09 Apr 2015 - 28 May 2016

© Justin Lieberman
Economy Model, 2015, with Johnny Woods
steel, inject print on canvas and custom software
117 x 146 x 200 cm
9 April - 28 May 2016

Exhibited here are four different installation views:

A view of the Rent Collection Court Yard, one of the most popular Chinese socialist realist art works, made in 1965, and comprising over a hundred life-size clay figures. The sculpture group recalls the infamous pre-communist land owner Liu Wencai and shows him collecting rent from peasants. As a representation of the ill of individual enrichment, it was important that the sculpture be erected outdoors, precisely in the courtyard of Liu Wencai’s former house. The scale of the sculpture makes it impossible to photograph it in one or even just a few shots. The panorama shot on view is a xerox collage made of six parts.

A black-and-white photo of Paul Thek’s sculpture Tomb (also known as Death of a Hippie) from 1967, taken at Stable Gallery in Manhattan. Inside the structure was a life-size cast of Thek’s body. After exhibitions in London, New York, and Minneapolis the walk-in sculpture was demolished for lack of willing financiers to pay the storage costs. The great scarcity of image material and the coarse grain of the few photos available add to the myth of this lost work.

A color photo of a house in Upstate New York, taken by a real estate agent. This installation view is accompanied by some lines advertising the house as well as the asking price. The house was abandoned by its owner in 2010 when the value of the house had decreased significantly below the amount of the mortgage, a situation referred to as “underwater”. Although uninhabited, the house remains on public view, while the foreclosure notices land in a private mailbox.

A view of The Corrector’s Custom Pre-Fab House by Justin Lieberman as shown at one of his former New York galleries. When the dealer stopped wanting to pay the storage for the work, the artist had it destroyed. What was formerly a solid 15 feet dome-shaped construction that one could enter, now exists as a high res color jpg. Two versions of the installation view are printed on canvas and folded over a metal frame.

Justin Lieberman’s work frequently departs from literature, current events or cultural tropes and is established through a process that wavers between abstraction and self-conscious obfuscation. Lieberman creates narratives or meta-structures that intricately tie together his process, materials, and the exhibitions they form. Through this weaving, Lieberman tethers personal and material contingencies to larger social and economic conditions of art-making. This is his first exhibition at Galerie Christine Mayer.

Tags: Justin Lieberman, Paul Thek