L e o n =B i b e l -- 1 9 1 3 - 1 9 9 5


Painter, printmaker and sculptor, Leon Bibel was born in Poland in 1913 and moved with his family to San Francisco as a child. He trained at the California School of Fine Arts, receiving a scholarship to study under the German Impressionist Maria Riedelstein. Later, he worked in collaboration with Bernard Zackheim, a student of Diego Rivera, to create frescoes for the San Francisco Jewish Community Center and the University of California Medical School.In 1936 Bibel moved from California to join the WPA Federal Art Project in New York City. He taught at P.S. 94 and Bronx House, and later joined the Easel Project and the Graphic Art Project at the Harlem Art Center.

It was a period of inspiring camaraderie and great productivity for the artist.When Bibel's program in the WPA ended in 1941, he moved with his wife to South Brunswick, New Jersey. Bibel ceased his artistic endeavors and, in order to support his family, worked as a chicken farmer during the following twenty years. Finally resuming his artistic pursuits in the early 1960s, he continued his artistic pursuits in painting and sculpture until his death in 1995.

Bibel's graphic work is distinguished by its boldly conceived, dramatic composition and its passionately executed, expressionist rendering. His WPA work is imbued with a deep sense of humanity and often addresses issues of social justice and the plight of the working man. Much of his WWII imagery focuses on the destructiveness of war and the resultant alienation of man.

 

Bibel's numerous exhibitions include: Newark Museum (1966, one-man); Jersey City Museum (1967); Hunterdon County Art Center, Clinton, NJ (1978); Monmouth College Art Festival (1978); Rutgers State University (1978); New Jersey State Museum (1978, one-man); Rider College, Lawrenceville, NJ (1983, one-man); Hillel Foundation of Rutgers (1985-86, one-man); Trenton State College (1985); Noyes Museum (1986); National Academy of Design (1987); Rutgers Labor Education Center (1988, one-man); Ellarslie Museum, Trenton, NJ (1990); Mercer County Community College, Trenton, NJ (1990); South Brunswick Public Library (1990-91, one-man); Hillel Foundation of Rutgers (1991); Trenton City Museum (1991); Noyes Museum (1991); Klutznick Museum, Washington, DC (1992); Joseph Gallery, Hebrew Union College (1992, one-man); National Jewish Museum (1992); and Hunterdon Art Center (1993, one-man).

Bibel's work is included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Newark Museum, the Zimmerli Art Museum of Rutgers, the Amon Carter Museum, the Dade County Museum, the Klutznick Museum, the Art Collection of the Federal Reserve Board, Rutgers State University, Rider College, Ohio University, George University, and the New Brunswick State Theater, as well as many corporate and private collections.


Untitled (Death March) - c.1936, Pencil, Pen and Brush and Ink

Estate stamped verso.

Image size 12 5/16 x 9 3/8 inches (313 x 238 mm); board size 13 x 10 inches (330 x 254 mm).

A fine rendering on cream wove drawing board, with 5/16 to 3/8 inch margins. Minor toning at the board edges, otherwise in excellent condition.

One of a series of powerful anti-fascist brush and ink drawings created by the artist prior to the outbreak of WWII.

Provenance: Estate of the artist; Park Slope Gallery, Brooklyn.

$5500.


Untitled (War Machine) - c.1936, Pencil, Pen and Brush and Ink

Estate stamped verso.

Image size 12 5/16 x 9 3/8 inches (313 x 238 mm); board size 13 x 10 inches (330 x 254 mm).

A fine rendering on cream wove drawing board, with 5/16 to 7/16 inch margins. Minor toning at the board edges; ink spots in the bottom margin, otherwise in excellent condition.

One of a series of powerful anti-fascist brush and ink drawings created by the artist prior to the outbreak of WWII.

Provenance: Estate of the artist; Park Slope Gallery, Brooklyn.

$5500.


War Casualty -- 1937, Etching.

Edition 6. Signed, dated, titled and numbered 5/6 in pencil.

Image size 7 3/8 x 9 7/8 inches (187 x 251 mm); sheet size 10 5/8 x 11 3/8 inches (270 x 289 mm).

A fine, rich impression, on cream wove paper, with full margins (1/2 to 1 7/8 inches), in excellent condition.

Created at the time of the Spanish Civil War and the rise of Hitler in Germany, this work stands as one of the most powerful surrealist/modernist anti-war images of the WPA period.

$2600.


Food Not Cannon -- 1937, Etching.

Edition 12 (an early state, probably unique). Signed in pencil.

Image size 7 7/16 x 5 15/16 inches (189 x 151 mm); sheet size 11 3/8 x 8 inches (289 x 203 mm).

A fine impression, on cream wove paper, with full margins (7/8 to 2 1/8 inches), in excellent condition. Scarce.

$1600.


Railway Station -- c.1937, Lithograph.

Edition 16. Signed, titled and numbered 9/16 in pencil.

Image size 9 7/8 x 12 5/8 inches (251 x 321 mm); sheet size 11 3/8 x 15 7/8 inches (289 x 403 mm).

A fine, rich impression, on cream wove paper, with full margins (5/8 to 1 5/8 inches), in excellent condition. Scarce.

$1800.


G.W. Bridge -- 1938, Lithograph.

Edition 25. Signed L Bibel, dated, titled and numbered /10 in pencil. Numbered 25 in the bottom right sheet corner, verso.

Image size 11 7/8 x 9 3/8 inches (302 x 238 mm); sheet size 13 x 13 1/4 inches (330 x 337 mm).

A fine, rich impression, on cream wove paper; full margins (5/8 to 2 1/4 inches), with deckle all around. Traces of printing ink in the top margin; a restored crease across the bottom left sheet corner, well away from the image; otherwise in excellent condition.

$4500.


Abstract Boats -- 1938, Color Serigraph.

Edition 12. Signed, dated, titled and numbered 8/12 in pencil.

Image size 10 1/16 x 13 5/16 inches (256 x 338 mm); sheet size 14 1/2 x 17 5/8 inches (368 x 448 mm).

A fine, painterly impression, with fresh colors, on buff wove paper, with full margins (2 to 2 3/8 inches). Slight toning, surface soiling, and minor losses to the top sheet edge, well away away from the image; otherwise in excellent condition.

SOLD


Street Band -- 1938, Lithograph.

Edition 12. Signed, titled and numbered /12 in pencil.

Image size 10 5/8 x 14 3/4 inches (270 x 375 mm); sheet size 15 1/2 x 20 1/8 inches (394 x 511 mm).

A fine, rich impression, with full margins (1 3/4 to 2 7/8 inches) on cream wove paper, in excellent condition. Scarce.

$1800.


Unemployed Marchers -- c.1938, 2-Color Lithograph.

Edition 25. Signed, titled and numbered 5/25 in pencil.

Image size 11 1/4 x 13 1/4 inches (286 x 337 mm); sheet size 13 x 15 3/8 inches (330 x 391 mm).

A fine, rich impression, on off-white wove paper, with full margins (3/4 to 1 1/8 inches), in excellent condition. Created while Bibel worked in the New York WPA, this image was not printed until the artist brought it to master printer Bill Haberman in 1988.

$2600.


Dancers -- 1939, Color Serigraph.

Edition 25. Signed, dated, titled and numbered 14/25 in pencil.

Image size 14 1/16 x 11 1/16 inches (357 x 281 mm); sheet size 17 1/4 x 12 inches (438 x 305 mm).

A rich, painterly impression, with fresh colors, on buff wove paper; with margins (3/8 to 1 5/8 inches); slight light toning within a previous mat opening; otherwise in excellent condition.

SOLD


Clown -- 1939, Color Serigraph.

Edition 20. Signed, dated, titled and numbered /20 in pencil.

Image size 13 3/4 x 11 inches (349 x 279 mm); sheet size16 3/4 x 13 7/8 inches (425 x 352 mm).

A fine, painterly impression, with rich colors, on buff laid paper; full margins (1 to 2 inches), in excellent condition.

Collection: Columbus Museum of Art.

$2400.


Archway -- 1939, Color Serigraph.

Edition 25. Signed, dated, titled and numbered /25 in pencil.

Image size 13 5/8 x 10 5/16 inches (346 x 262 mm); sheet size 17 x 13 7/8 inches (432 x 352 mm).

A rich, painterly impression, with fresh colors, on buff wove paper; full margins (1 1/2 to 2 inches), in excellent condition.

$1600.


Carousel -- 1939, Color Serigraph.

Edition 35. Signed, dated, titled and numbered 12/35 in pencil. Signed in the screen, lower left.

Image size 13 7/8 x 11 inches (352 x 279 mm); sheet size 14 5/8 x 11 1/2 inches (371 x 292 mm).

A rich, painterly impression, with strong colors, on buff laid paper; full margins (1 1/4 to 1 5/8 inches), in excellent condition.

SOLD


Upper Harlem River -- 1939, Color Serigraph.

Edition 40, artist's proof. Signed, dated, titled and annotated A/P and Proof in pencil. Signed in the screen, lower left.

Image size 19 1/8 x 14 inches (486 x 356 mm); sheet size 24 1/8 x 18 inches (613 x 457 mm).

A rich, painterly impression, with fresh colors, on cream wove paper; with full margins (2 to 2 1/2 inches). Several short, repaired tears in the sheet edges, otherwise in excellent condition.

Collection: Pfizer.

$3600.


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