A Visit to Leonid Lerman's Studio
* photos by Sam Sharif
The work of Leonid Lerman marks a serious departure from the main trends that dominate contemporary sculpture. Whereas abstraction and a retreat from the human form has been a predominant impulse in post-war western art, Lermanís work embraces human form, but one ensnared in the artistís own struggle with human meaning, language, and the desire to express the authenticity of human experience. His sculpture struggles with the very essence of the problem of human meaning, interpretation, language and the indecipherable gap between subjective experience and objective knowledge. Refusing visual comfort to the viewer, his work forces the evolution of new forms of visual experience and has broadened the horizons of modern sculpture.
Educated as a monument sculptor in Soviet Russia, Lermanís aesthetic has been shaped by an impulse for inner freedom and a struggle against conformity. Out of the backdrop of socialist realism in which he was educated, he developed an artistic impulse that emphasizes sensuousness while not abandoning a commitment to reflection and thought attaining a curious power by shattering reification and privileging intuition and spirit over reflection and matter.
Logos 4.1 - Winter 2005