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serge strosberg tales of the highline


Serge Strosberg 2014 – 2016


“The color and the movement of the brush, the plants and trees of the High Line, give life to these architectures. The High Line is a surrealist place where you have plants, glass, reflections, and silence from traffic in a city where it is hard to find oxygen. To me, the High Line is a breath of oxygen and almost a fantasy area.”

–Serge Strosberg


Serge Strosberg’s Tales of the Highline Featured at the Lionheart Gallery New Exhibition opens on March 20, 2016 through May 1, 2016 Pound Ridge, New York – (February 10, 2016) Described as the Expressionist of Fashion, Serge Strosberg is an observer of downtown New York and its stories, a lover of rich color and intriguing personalities. Belgian by birth, he received his formal art education in Paris. After several successful exhibitions in Europe and the United States, Strosberg moved to New York in 2008 and has lived and worked in SoHo ever since. His paintings exude the vibrant flavors of this neighborhood. Strosberg inhabits a space four floors above the retail windows of SoHo—stores he calls beautiful, scary, and endlessly inspiring. Reflections are often explored in his paintings; he is an observer of society, genuinely interested in other people and what they project. In this new series, Tales of the High Line, Strosberg juxtaposes the inner lives of fashionable subjects with the natural world of downtown Manhattan’s elevated 1.45-mile-long park and its ever-changing colors, textures, and seasons. Through oil paintings and watercolors, the artist depicts scenes of Lower West Side architecture as well as more intimate interior portraits. “Serge Strosberg is a realistic painter of the urban world and its characters, but with an expressionistic style,” says Lionheart Gallery Director Susan Grissom. “In this exciting series, Strosberg uses the High Line as his own playground. You will feel like a voyeur as you are given a telescopic view into slices of his characters’ lives, and glimpse how they view the High Line from their unique worlds.” Strosberg notes that the High Line reminds him of his Parisian past and the Promenade Plantée, the elevated park on which New York’s was modeled. To capture his often unusual points of view, the artist first photographed his chosen High Line locations, then painted the images. This process was not without risk. “I took many pictures in locations that were sometimes adventurous,” he says, confiding that he and his models were often chased by security guards and photographed by onlookers. Finding inspiration in a variety of masters, from Rembrandt and Rubens to Raphael Soyer, Philip Pearlstein, and Lucien Freud—with whom he exhibited several times—Strosberg is adept at allowing his models’ personalities to shine through their skin. He uses the same treatment on the Manhattan skyline. “The color and the movement of the brush, the plants and trees of the High Line, give life to these architectures,” he says. The color in these works is opulent and lush. Strosberg has studied with the German Expressionist Jörg Hermle, who taught him the centuries-old technique of painting with oil and egg tempera; to this day, he makes his own paint and mediums, mixing egg with pure pigments imported from Rome. Through these traditional methods he achieves maximum color contrasts and sensual flesh tones. Strosberg has recently started adding enamel paints to his tempura for even more intense, concentrated hues, which he considers essential for creating emotional charge.


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Tales of the High Line features views of both impressive heights and breathy closeness. In High Line III (The Standard), Strosberg paints the hotel notorious for its exhibitionist glamor; it looms like an open book of windows against a blue spring sky. The Starrett-Lehigh Building glows in tones of lavender and gold, a bewitching vision of the Chelsea landmark at dusk. More intimate portraits peek into bedroom and private balconies, as in The After Party where a pixie-coiffed model leans in reverie, early-hours Manhattan in the background. It should come as no surprise that the artist studied in his Paris days with Vogue and Elle photographer Peter Knapp. In the words of Strosberg, “The High Line is a surrealist place where you have plants, glass, reflections, and silence from traffic in a city where it is hard to find oxygen. To me, the High Line is a breath of oxygen and almost a fantasy area.” View Tales of the Highline by Serge Strosberg at the Lionheart Gallery’s Exhibition, opening March 20, 2016 and running through May 1, 2016, Wednesday through Saturday, from 11 AM to 5 PM, and Sunday from 12 noon to 4 PM. For more information and directions to the gallery at 27 Westchester Avenue in Pound Ridge, New York, call 914 764 8689 or visit www.thelionheartgallery.com


tales of the highline


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Hopper Highline, 2016 Oil, Egg Tempera and Enamel on Canvas 25” x 30”


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The Standard Hotel, 2016 Oil, Egg Tempera and Enamel on Canvas 38� x 41�


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The Starrett-Lehigh Building, 2016 Oil, Egg Tempera and Enamel on Canvas 31� x 48�


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The IAC Building, 2016 Oil and Enamel on Canvas 52” x 36”


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In Vivo In Vitro I, 2014 Oil and Egg Tempera on Canvas 53” x 65”


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In Vivo In Vitro II, 2014 Oil and Egg Tempera on Canvas 53” x 65”


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In Vivo In Vitro IV, 2014 Oil and Egg Tempera on Canvas 50” x 41.5”


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Attending to His Creation (Amanda), 2016 Oil and Egg Tempera on Canvas 45” x 35”


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Femme Au Chat, 2016 Oil on Canvas 44.5” x 42”


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The Photographer and The Muse, 2016 Oil and Egg Tempera on Canvas 52” x 38”


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The Afterparty, 2014 Oil and Egg Tempera on Linen 69” x 48”


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Olga’s World, 2016 Oil and Egg Tempera on Canvas 45” x 66”


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Serenity, 2016 Oil and Egg Tempera on Canvas 29” x 45.5”


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Lust, 2014 Oil and Egg Tempera on Canvas 53” x 33”


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Sloth, 2014 Oil and Egg Tempera on Canvas 53” x 33”


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Olivier, 2016 Oil on Canvas 32” x 24”


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The Body Builder, 2014 Watercolor on Paper 14” x 11”


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Jordan Fox Ink, 2014 Watercolor on Paper 14” x 11”


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Malik So Chic, 2014 Watercolor on Paper 14” x 11”


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Vienna, 2014 Watercolor on Paper 11” x 14”


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Julia Under the Red Spotlight, 2014 Watercolor on Paper 11” x 14”


EXHIBITION PHOTOS


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Serge Strosberg’s TALES OF THE HIGHLINE, 2016


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Serge Strosberg’s TALES OF THE HIGHLINE, 2016


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Serge Strosberg’s TALES OF THE HIGHLINE, 2016


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Serge Strosberg’s TALES OF THE HIGHLINE, 2016


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Opening of Serge Strosberg’s TALES OF THE HIGHLINE March 20, 2016


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Opening of Serge Strosberg’s TALES OF THE HIGHLINE March 20, 2016


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Opening of Serge Strosberg’s TALES OF THE HIGHLINE March 20, 2016


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Opening of Serge Strosberg’s TALES OF THE HIGHLINE March 20, 2016


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Opening of Serge Strosberg’s TALES OF THE HIGHLINE March 20, 2016


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Opening of Serge Strosberg’s TALES OF THE HIGHLINE March 20, 2016


ARTSY EDITORIAL


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� � �

From the High Line to a Rabbit Warren, Two Painters Explore Human and Animal Nature ARTSY APR 21ST, 2016 12:45 AM

Serge Strosberg Olga's World, 2016 The Lionheart Gallery

If you’ve ever walked along the High Line—the elevated promenade built on an abandoned railroad spur on Manhattan’s west side—you’ve probably experienced the strange thrill of peering into someone else’s apartment. It’s an unsettling feeling, something like looking at fish swimming in a bowl or an animal enclosed in a well-appointed cage.

Serge Strosberg The Standard Hotel The Lionheart Gallery

That voyeuristic rush seeps into two painting exhibitions currently showing at the Lionheart Gallery in Pound Ridge, New York. Granted, the rabbits of Jo Hay’s “Rabbitude” aren’t actually in cages, and no one feels bad for citizens lucky enough to live in the lush apartments and condos along the High Line (those residents make up Serge Strosberg’s “Tales of the High Line”). Nevertheless, both shows offer windows into human (and animal) lives.


Serge Strosberg Lust The Lionheart Gallery

Serge Strosberg Julia Under the Red Spotlight The Lionheart Gallery

Indeed, many of Strosberg’s paintings are almost disturbingly intimate. In pieces like Lust or Julia Under the Red Spotlight, subjects are vulnerable and partly disrobed; viewers might feel like they’re trespassing. Not to worry: Though the paintings are based on Strosberg’s real-life photographs, the artist used his own models on location. “I took many pictures in locations that were sometimes adventurous,” he has said.

Serge Strosberg The Afterparty The Lionheart Gallery

Serge Strosberg The IAC Building, 2016 The Lionheart Gallery

The Afterparty pictures a young woman relaxing on a balcony—a scene


The Afterparty The Lionheart Gallery

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The IAC Building, 2016 The Lionheart Gallery

The Afterparty pictures a young woman relaxing on a balcony—a scene you’ll likely glimpse on a cool summer night in New York or any other city. Some of Strosberg’s paintings, like Hopper Highline or The IAC Building, are less personal and more architectural. Viewed together, the paintings capture the grit and glamour of the High Line, “a surrealist place,” Strosberg has said, “where you have plants, glass, reflections, and silence from traffic in a city where it is hard to find oxygen. To me, the High Line is a breath of oxygen and almost a fantasy area.”

Jo Hay Blackstar, 2016 The Lionheart Gallery

Jo Hay The Thin White Duke, 2016 The Lionheart Gallery

Hay, meanwhile, has traditionally focused on human subjects as well, so “Rabbitude” signifies something of a departure for the British figurative painter. Still, her lush, large-scale rabbit portraits could be seen as an extension of her ongoing exploration of sexuality, gender, and identity. After all, each subject seems to have its own personality: Blue Jean and Blackstar are distinct from, say, The Thin White Duke (all 2016; and yes, each rabbit seems to have a David Bowie–inspired name). Hay’s recent paintings draw a parallel between human and animal consciousness. “I relate to their alert, edgy energy,” she has said, “and the constant vigilance required to always remain nimble enough to get in and out of fluctuating situations.” Atop the High Line, those same edgy energies and fluctuating situations are available in ample supply.

—Bridget Gleeson

“Tales of the High Line” and “Rabbitude” are on view at the Lionheart Gallery, Pound Ridge, New York, Mar 20–May 1, 2016. Follow the Lionheart Gallery on Artsy.


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This catalogue was published to accompany the Serge Strosberg Spring Exhibition at The Lionheart Gallery. Serge Strosberg March 2014 – May 1, 2016 All images copyright of the artist. Images of the works are reproduced courtesy of the artist and The Lionheart Gallery. Curated by Susan Grissom Designed by Chelsea Walsh Essay by Tori Rysz All rights reserved. No part of this book may be produced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior permission in writing of the copyright holder and The Lionheart Gallery. 914 764 8689 www.thelionheartgallery.com 27 Westchester Avenue, Pound Ridge, NY 10576


Serge Strosberg Catalog  

Featuring paintings by Serge Strosberg, including those in his current exhibition, TALES OF THE HIGHLINE, at The Lionheart Gallery.

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