Gallery Henoch Presents MEL LEIPZIG, 3/27-4/19
At 78 years old, Mel Leipzig hustles a four-foot canvas out of his white van and sets up for the day's project; he is painting a young female tattoo artist in her shop. This marks the first of 8 weekly visits he will make before the canvas is ready to exhibit.
On Thursday, March 27th, Gallery Henoch opens a four-week exhibition of Mr. Leipzig's portraits. Margaret O'Reilly, Curator of Fine Art at the New Jersey StateMuseum, selected the 24 paintings to be exhibited at Gallery Henoch thru April 19, 2014.
Art critic Dan Bischoff notes: "For more than four decades Mel has stood in Trenton, New Jersey and painted the worlds around him: Fast cooks in their diners, jacketed waiters among their tables, students at the college where he taught for nearly half a century, fellow artists in their studios. Leipzig is a portraitist, but he doesn't just produce recognizable likenesses. He paints, as artist Carl Hazlewood once put it, "rooms" - all the stuff that makes up a person's home or workplace. More often than not, that makes a truer portrait than the subject's physiognomy."
In recent years the artist has begun to make diptychs and triptychs of his subjects. Leipzig will paint multiple locations that reference the subject, giving the viewer greater insight into their world. In the portrait of RUSH HOLT AND MARGARET LANCEFIELD, a triptych, the center panel shows the politician & wife at home. The two outside panels show a pristinely organized New Jersey office counterweighted by a slightly chaotic desk in Washington, DC.
This marks Leipzig's seventh solo exhibition at Gallery Henoch that has represented the artist for 30 years. Mel Leipzig was born in Brooklyn in 1935 and resides in Trenton, NJ where he was a professor of Painting and Art History at Mercer County Community College until 2013. He studied at the Cooper Union and at Yale, with Joseph Albers and Neil Welliver. The latter encouraged Leipzig at a time when abstraction dominated the visual arts.
Leipzig has had over 45 one-man shows at museums and art centers in Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts and New Jersey. He has had multiple exhibits at the New Jersey State Museum. National Academy of Arts and Letters honored him in 2003. Shortly after he was elected into the National Academy in 2006. In 2013 PBS and NJN began airing a documentary about the artist titled MEL LEIPZIG: EVERYTHING IS PAINTABLE.
His works are in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the National Academy Museum and the Cooper Hewitt Museum in New York City. Additionally, New Jersey State Museum, Montclair Art Museum, the Morris Museum, the Noyes Museum, the Jane Voorhes Zimmerli Museum at Rutgers and the Jersey City Museum among other museums have collected paintings.
Gallery Henoch, 555 West 25th Street (between 10th & 11th Ave).
Subway: C or E to 23rd St. The event is free and open to the public.
Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 10:30 am - 6:00 pm or by appointment.
For more information, please contact Andrew Liss at 917.305.0003.