Families and the essence of our lake capture artist’s heartFaces and family dynamics capture Anne Labovitz’s attention. The manifestation of that is in two gallery exhibitions of the Duluth-bred artist — portraits at the Tweed, and at Lizzard’s downtown, paintings of the lake and of hearts.
By: Naomi Yaeger, Duluth Budgeteer News
Faces and family dynamics capture Anne Labovitz’s attention. The manifestation of that is in two gallery exhibitions of the Duluth-bred artist — portraits at the Tweed, and at Lizzard’s downtown, paintings of the lake and of hearts.
The Budgeteer tagged along on Tuesday as Anne Labovitz conducted a walk-through at the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Tweed Museum of Art in preparation for the opening reception of “Composite Portraits,” which at press time was scheduled for Thursday, June 6. Her portrait paintings are larger than life, and the more a person looks at them, the more other faces within faces can be seen.
Labovitz says she always has a camera and is fascinated with families. She says she often asks families she sees while out and about if she may photograph them. This, she says, has been an inspiration for her portraits.
“My great-grandmother used to say, ‘I love all colors, as long as they are red,’” said Labovitz, who was wearing bold-red glasses and a red-beaded necklace.
That was a story she said had been handed down through the generations, although Labovitz says she never met that forebear. So she texted her 85-year-old father to confirm that great-grandmother’s name for the Budgeteer. As she did, her 12-year-old daughter, Isabella Gamble, leaned on her, creating a visual line of family connected physically and by cyberspace.
Along with the red necklace, a silver heart pendant hung around Labovitz’s neck. It was the prototype for the pendant she designed with the collaboration of Duluth’s Security Jewelers as a fundraiser to help support AmberWing and the Tweed Foundation.
“I’m really intrigued with that basic, and I mean really basic, human connectedness that we all need. It’s the profound focus of my professional practice as an artist and as a human being and I think that’s why I take
photographs of other people’s families,” she said.
The works exhibited at the Tweed are densely layered portraits made to appear highly textured. They combine drawing with multi-colored painted surface- and woodblock-printed overlays. In each of the 15 paintings, the heads of the portraits are embedded in, and surrounded by, veil-like surfaces, graphic shapes and transparent sections of other faces.
At Lizzards, she is exhibiting works on two subject matters: paintings of the lake and of hearts.
Labovitz’s grandfather started Maurices clothing store in downtown Duluth, and her father, Joel Labovitz, build it up to 175 stores across the nation. Joel Labovitz has been closely involved with the UMD School of Business and Economics for many years. He was named a senior fellow at the school and taught its very first courses in entrepreneurship.
In 1992, UMD established the Joel Labovitz Entrepreneurial Awards which provide recognition and encouragement to creators of small and large businesses in the area.
And then there’s that great-grandmother. Joel Labovitz answered her text with her name: Sarah Levine.
“My project is an examination of identity according to how I feel while entranced by the act of seeing, and the process leads to a traditional sense of portraiture, as an interpretive rendering of a human subject,” she said.
This year is her 30th East High School class reunion.
“I have invited my class to come here and do a little walk-through and do a little artist’s talk on the 3rd of August.” The event is open to the public.
Labovitz’s paintings of hearts are now exhibited at Lizzards Art Gallery and will continue through July 15. Her Superior Horizon series is also now hanging at Lizzards. “[The paintings] capture the essence of the lake and how that changes through the day,” Lizzards owner Jeff Schmidt said.
A June 27 event at Lizzards is planned to showcase the Heart and Superior Horizon’s series and the heart pendant. Schmidt speculates that the heart pendant may be sold out by then. The pendant is for sale at the Tweed Museum Store, Lizzards Art Gallery and Security Jewelers.
at the Tweed Museum of Art — now through August 11
Artist’s talk: Saturday, Aug. 3, 1-2 p.m.
SUPERIOR HORIZON SERIES AND HEART SERIES
at Lizzards Art Gallery — now through July 15
Tentatively scheduled hosting event at Lizzards on June 27 from 5 to 8 p.m.
(Phone 218-722-5815 to confirm)