Sunday, November 03, 2013


isis and the goat-fish of Ea (Enki)
Adela Leibowitz
Mesopotamian and Egyptian Mythology
November 7 – 30, 2013
Opening reception: Thursday, November 7, 6pm – 8pm
“In sleep and in dreams we pass through the whole thought of earlier humanity…”
hpgrp GALLERY NEW YORK is pleased to announce the opening of “Mesopotamian and Egyptian Mythology,” a solo exhibition of new paintings by the New York-based artist Adela Leibowitz.
Since 2001, Leibowitz has been examining fairy tales and mythology in her paintings and oil collages which utilize various disparate references, at times borrowing from and recontextualizing ancient artifacts. Unlike earlier series such as Fairytales of the Macabre (2004) and The Cassandra Prophesies, (2006), which focused on Western tales, Leibowitz turns to Eastern religions and mythologies in “Mesopotamian and Egyptian Mythology.” In this exhibition, she continues her explorations by re-animating gods and goddesses, chaos demons, sages, protective deities and mythical hybrids. She places them in lush, tropical landscapes that represent a primal world where humans, animals and nature co-exist together in harmony. In essence, she creates utopias.
With artistic predecessors such as Henri Rousseau, the Disney animator Mary Blair, as well as Ray Harryhausen’s stop motion animation in “Mysterious Island,” Leibowitz’s paintings ultimately evoke a childlike sense of wonder.
At times, the paintings are bright and full of hope. At others, they are mysterious and brooding,depicting nighttime scenes haunted by blue moons. Some works embody heavy symbolism, such as Serpent of chaos and destruction in battle with the sun God (2013), a surreal landscape consisting of a serpent balancing a classical marble bust on its tongue that recalls Salvador Dali and Giorgio de Chirico. Mask of Ki (2012), depicts a bust of the Sumerian Goddess of earth wearing a headdress woven from the jungle-like scenes depicted in other works. In one Sumerian mythology version, Ki is attributed with creating many assortments of plant life after copulating with An, the god of heaven. Dark yet transformative elements are introduced in A place between death and rebirth (Sirius, canopic jars, faience hippo, Ishtar gate, dancing bear soundbox), which shows a congress of deities associated with death, burial, renewal and the pleasure of music. Such esoteric references abound in her art, adding layers of intrigue.
Her paintings are created from a place of joy, love and curiosity— through them, the imagination is given the opportunity to return to a sense of wonder.
About the Artist
Solo exhibitions include The Untitled (2011) and The Cassandra Prophecy (2006) at hpgrp GALLERY NEW YORK, New York, NY and New Paintings (2009) at 33 Bond, New York, NY and Fairytales of the Macabre (2004) at Jack the Pelican Presents, Brooklyn, NY. Group shows include hpgrp GALLERY NEW YORK, New York, NY and hpgrp GALLERY TOKYO, Tokyo, Japan; Torrance Museum of Art, Torrance, CA; The Observatory in Brooklyn, New York; Holster Projects, London, United Kingdom; Parisian Laundry, Montreal, Canada; Bo-Lee Gallery, Bath, United Kingdom; and Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile, Alabama, to name a few. She holds an MFA from The New York Academy of Art, and has been awarded residencies at the Millay Colony in Austerlitz, New York, Vermont Studio Center in Burlington, VT and P.S. 122 in New York, NY. Her work has been featured in The New York TimesNY Arts MagazineWhitehot MagazineThe Village VoiceNew American PaintingsTime Out New YorkArt of England, Art and Antiquesand American Art Collector.

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