Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Bonny Leibowitz

Witness - 20x20 - encaustic wax and oil pigment
My art review repost of an October show in 2011

Rising Gallery, formally located in mid-town Dallas and away from the art galleries clustering down in the Design District and Deep Elum area, has now found a new home between these clusters, right in the revitalized downtown business district of Dallas. Rising Gallery founders Bryan & Taber Wetz have been good about giving under represented local artists an exhibition space. The gallery seems to focus on emerging artists, and this month they are featuring Bonny Leibowitz in a solo show titled "Surface Tension.

When it comes to the paintings, Bonny Leibowitz has left behind any representation in her art for more of a color field -- cloudy abstraction that is more of an emotional expression. A kind of spirituality is present in these intuitive expressions of color. Some works invoke landscape and others invoke the sky. Like most purely abstract art, Leibowitz is showing us the imagined unseen world or, as the philosopher Immanuel Kant would describe it, the noumenal world. But Leibowitz also uses photography to peek out from underneath some of her paintings. This implies a breaking of this unseen world through an element of collage. She further breaks away from traditional color field paintings through her use of encaustic wax and other
collage elements.

The encaustic wax makes for a very attractive surface. I enjoy the otherworldly feeling of these sometimes smoothed-out and other times rough craters on an otherwise flat painted plane. The work “Witness” most dramatically illustrates the shape and character a encaustic painting can achieve. The colors on “Witness” imply a landscape shaped from years of natural water flow, rather than by the human hand. Leibowitz is an instructor at the Encaustic Center in Richardson, and her ability to manipulate this material really shines in this work.

Bonny Leibowitz was the first artist I met when I moved to the Dallas area. She invited me to her studio and I had the opportunity to see a great number of her paintings. I am excited to be following hers now at Rising Gallery.

For more picture of the work go to

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