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James Kiberd  
The Artist’s Statement
Education, grants,
awards and publications
Bio & Artist's Statement
C U R R E N T  G A L L E R Y  R E P R E S E N T A T I O N
• MB Modern 41 E. 57th Street
8th Floor
New York City, NY  10022
Louis Newman, Director
212.371.3444 / phone
212.371.2340 / fax
A R T I S T ’ S  S T A T E M E N T
     I struggle to stay open to new experiences. I’ll have hundreds every day. When I am struck by some “event”, the complex taste of a wine, the doomed stench of people living in their own waste, the hopeful freshness of a baby’s cheek, a spiritual change in the atmosphere, the emasculating slashing of a man’s face on a public street, the succulent crunch of a special apple, the rousing sway of a woman moving up a stairway; the event grabs me kinesthetically - giving rise to an energy and feel in my body. I try to create a visual equivalent that will engender the experience of the event. The visual equivalent must embody through line and color the texture, rhythm, pattern, the architecture of the sensual experience so that when I am looking at what I create it gives me the experience again - not what it looks like, but what it feels like - the essence of the experience. Often times the original experience becomes clearer to me as I work for the visual equivalent. And usually in the working, I find the sensual essence deepens into a spiritual essence.

It seems today’s person is so bombarded with visual stimuli that their eye/brain has been conditioned to immediately screen what it is looking at. If the eye/brain could talk, “Oh! This is a movie, this is a commercial, this is radio, this is supposed to be art, this is real, etc.” I try to create images primal enough to slip past that screen and plug the experience into the viewer (the way original experience struck me) so that they “get it” before they know to screen it. The viewer has a sense of something happening before they know it’s a painting.

In creating these visual equivalents or paintings, I use everything I can muster. I put myself at service to the experience. At the beginning of any working time, I try to make myself an empty vessel to receive the impulse the experience generates. Once the impulse is received, I let it take me.

Each painting invents its own style, its own vocabulary. Any style of painting I have painted or studied (since I was four), I’ll use to engender the experience. I see myself at times fusing DeKooning’s paint with Tintoretto’s composition, Velasquez’s structure with a Chinese calligrapher’s kinesthetic brush stroke or Ingres’ line swimming in Rothko’s color.

Years of figure drawing and dancing help me find that there is a language in the body that can tell a story visually. I watch Paul Taylor’s dances draw and David Smith’s drawings dance. Years of acting helps me find the specific breath of life that color breathes into an experience.

Hopefully, the visual equivalent or painting engenders the essence of the experience so that it is no longer bonded to the objects surrounding it and the sensual is free to serve the spiritual and the painting serves the viewer.

- James Kiberd

S E L E C T E D  S O L O  E X H I B I T I O N S
2000 “Departures and Arrivals”
MB Modern; New York, NY
1999 “Meyer Schapiro Artist Award - James Kiberd”
Augusta State University, GA
1999 “You’re In My Studio II”
Flywheel Gallery; Piermont, NY
1998 “Gulf Suite”
MD Modern; Houston, Texas
Pour Un Bon Sancerre
Pour Un Bon Sancerre

oil on canvas
63" H x 48" W
1998 “You’re In My Studio”
Flywheel Gallery; Piermont, NY
1997 “Prayers and Celebrations”
MB Modern; New York, NY
1996 “La Vie Parisienne”
(Pieces based on a sojourn to Paris)
Dobbs Ferry Art Workshop; Dobbs Ferry, NY

1996 “Prayers for Africa”
(Pieces based on a field trip to Africa for UNICEF)
Flywheel Gallery; Piermont, NY

1996 James Kiberd
MB Modern at Babcock Galleries; New York, NY
1995 James Kiberd
Dobbs Ferry Art Workshop; Dobbs Ferry, NY
1994 James Kiberd and Alan Gussow
Estherwood Mansion; Dobbs Ferry, NY
1980 Artist in Residence
Rockland Center for the Arts; West Nyack, NY
Chez Bofinger
Chez Bofinger

oil on wood
60" H x 48" W

Courtesy of the
Melman collection
1976 James Kiberd
The Edward Hopper Foundation; Nyack, NY
1974 James Kiberd
Rockland Center for the Arts; West Nyack, NY
S E L E C T E D  G R O U P  E X H I B I T I O N S
1999 - 2000 “Small Landscapes of Newfoundland”
Tour of Canada
1999 “Shared Visions”
MD Modern; Houston, TX
1996 “Shared Passions”
MB Modern; New York

“Sacred Matters: Works on Paper”
MB Modern; New York

“MB Modern Gallery Artists”
Babcock Galleries; New York

Hastings Gallery; Hastings-on-Hudson, NY
Summer Expectations
Summer Expectations

pastel on paper
26"H x 28"W

Courtesy of the
Robbins collection
1979 “Artist in Residence”
Palisades Park; New York
1978 “The Artists of South Mountain Road”
Rockland Center for the Arts; West Nyack, NY
Day Voluptuous
Day Voluptuous

pastel on paper
40"H x 38"W
1971 - 72 Independent study in Europe - London, Paris, Amsterdam, Vienna, Munich, Florence, Padua, Sienna, Madrid
1970 Graduate School of Fine Arts - University of Pennsylvania
Neil Welliver, Rackstraw Downes, Robert Engman
P U B L I C A T I O N S ,  A W A R D S  &  G R A N T S   
1999 “JAMES KIBERD: drawings”
David S. Rubin
1999 The Meyer Schapiro Artist Award
1999 Artist in Residence
Pouch Cove Foundation; Newfoundland, Canada
1998 Gold Medal of Honor
UNICEF; Houston, TX
Suite Dreams
Suite Dreams

pastel on paper
20"H x 26"W
1995 - National Ambassador for UNICEF
1994 Danny Kaye Award for service to the world’s children
1979 Artist in Residence
America the Beautiful Fund; Palisades, NY
1979 Artist in Residence
National Endowment for the Arts; NY State Council on the Arts
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• the Publication: James Kiberd - Drawings
by David S. Rubin, Curator of 20th Century Art at the Phoenix Museum

• the Poster: the Meyer Schapiro Artist Award commemorative poster

black and white drawings Unicef
Catalog New Works and Current Exhibitions Acquire art works

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copyright ©1998-2000 by James Kiberd