Installation view, UDBO Playground

Installation view, UDBO Playground

Claire Lieberman
UDBO Playground
(Unidentified Dangerous Beautiful Objects)

October 12 – November 11, 2017;
Opening Reception Thursday, October 12, 6–8 PM

Massey Lyuben Gallery is proud to present UDBO Playground, a solo exhibition of new sculptures from Claire Lieberman. 

Lieberman’s forms are reminiscent of childhood: Arranged in a tic-tac-toe game, these ballooning toy grenades and curvaceous flowers with titles like Star Fleet, Funny Hat, and Radio exude a sweet, playful quality.  Yet collectively, her aesthetic is anything but innocent. The pieces are rendered in highly polished black marble; their surfaces smooth and shiny, hand-engraved, or disrupted by protuberances. The effect is at once voluptuous and oppressive, bringing to the surface the hidden menace of commonplace things. Despite her use of lighthearted source imagery, Lieberman’s sculptures evoke brutality and destruction, giving form to the subject matter’s lethal beauty. 

Accompanying the sculptures is a selection of the artist’s signature glass guns. The delicate, transparent pistols, inspired by mid-century science fiction toys, are disarming and humorous. However, like the marble pieces, the guns carry a threat of underlying violence. The fragility and sensuality of the glass, hot-sculpted and blown into shapes of futuristic ray guns, may tempt viewers to play with the art, but the inherent danger of weapons is ever present.  

The gallery will publish a catalogue on occasion of the exhibition featuring an essay by noted art critic, Barry Schwabsky.  Read the full essay: HERE

Barry Schwabsky is art critic for The Nation and coeditor of international reviews for Artforum. His recent books include The Perpetual Guest: Art in the Unfinished Present (2016) and a collection of poems, Trembling Hand Equilibrium (2015); imminently forthcoming is a new collection of essays, Heretics of Language (2017).


Claire Lieberman is a sculptor and installation artist who combines such unexpected materials as marble, Jell-O, and video. In her practice, she explores dichotomies like the sublime and the quirky, desire and danger, indulgence and guilt.  Lieberman’s solo shows include: THE LAB, NYC; Marcia Wood Gallery, Atlanta; Gebert Contemporary, Scottsdale; PDX, Portland; Seoul Art Center, South Korea; University of Alaska, Anchorage; PDX Gallery, Portland; and Anderson Gallery, Virginia Commonwealth University. Group shows at: Chelsea Art Museum, International Print Center, NYC; Galerie ACC, Weimar, Germany. Press: Sculpture magazine, The New York Times, Art on Paper, and ARTnews. In addition to the artist’s solo exhibition at Massey Lyuben Gallery, Lieberman is currently participating in a collection of exhibitions with the Streaming Museum titled Outer Space, Blended Realities and Futures and is showing in Love Among the Ruins at HOWL! Arts.  New toy guns in glass will be shown at the MUDAC Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland in the Spring.

Lieberman has received awards from The Arctic Circle, Territory of Svalbard; Seaside Institute, FL; National Endowment for the Arts; Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris; Friche La Belle de Mai, Marseilles; Künstlerhaus, Salzburg; Yaddo; and MacDowell Colony. The artist attended the Boston Museum School (BFA) and Pratt Institute (MFA with distinction).

Please join us for an opening reception on Thursday, October 12th from 6–8pm. For work availability and press inquiries, please email [email protected]

Installation view, UDBO Playground

Installation view, UDBO Playground