Miriam Lefkowitz “Masthope”

The abstract watercolors of Miriam Lefkowitz often border on the figurative, but nonetheless refuse to be seen as representative of the visible world. Educated at the University of Maryland and then the Mason Gross School of the Arts, Lefkowitz is a highly skilled painter whose visual characteristics include an attention to rhythm, the expressive quality of carefully chosen juxtaposed colors, and the spontaneity of her abstract compositions. In her oil paintings she often starts from a photograph or some form of representational imagery and then gradually diverges away from it until she is left with an abstract expression of the space. Her compositions often different layers of color and imagery as a result from her process of re-working her canvases. But as she says, this same approach to water color has to be somewhat modified, “In my watercolors, I also strive for these layers, but due to the nature of the medium, which is not conducive to endless tinkering, these drawings are spontaneous outpourings of color, lines, and form that eventually work together as a single piece.” The spontaneity that is perhaps not as achievable in her oil paintings due to the process is on full display in her water colors. They are images teeming with energy, and the experience of viewing them is all the more exciting because of it.

By Zachary Ritter

Artist Statement

For the last two decades I have created gouache and mixed media drawings in the deep woods along the Delaware River. During the day I swim and hike among the mountains and forests that surround me. As I sit down at my drawing table on the porch, images of the river, dragonflies, eagles, and dappled sunlight on leaves fill up my soul.

What I paint is always a surprise. As I pick up a brush or colored pencil, it is the emotions that are elicited from these images, along with their forms, that inspire my work. Instead of drawing the water, I draw how I feel in the water. Instead of drawing a tree, I draw how I feel standing under the tree.

From a young age I’ve been drawing abstract shapes that are always created instinctively. Why I use cerulean as opposed to carmine lake is intuitive. The sun shining thru the screen, listening to Stephen King in the dark, fluctuating moods and erratic hand tremors, all grist for the mill. This combination of head, body, and spirit, along with my love of color and the physicality of my hands moving a brush or pencil, create the work you see here.


Education

The Camera Club of New York, CCNY 1979: B.A., Cum Laude, University of Maryland

Mason Gross School of the Arts: Studied with Lloyd McNeill

Printmaking Council of New Jersey

Exhibitions

 1983—Camera Club of New York

2008—IM Gallery Highland Park, Group exhibit 

titled “High IMpact”

2008—Artists NOW, 431 Raritan Avenue, Highland Park, NJ

2009—Highland Park Public Library, paintings and photographs

Employment

1980-2006—Systems Analyst, Bankers Trust, Home Insurance Co., and Rutgers University

1990-1992—Photo Journalist for The Tico Times, San Jose, Costa Rica

1999-present—Telecommunications Analyst for Rutgers University

2005-present—Videographer and Video Editor for Character Generators, Inc, NYC


 “Infinite Layers” New Brunswick Art Salon 2013 Part II Water Color Exhibition

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