CityVisions - Malcolm Lubliner Photography
Malcolm Lubliner ~ Photography & Art Since 1965
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National Centennial Exhibition at The Brower Center celebrating America's National Parks will exhibit Malcolm Lubliner's photograph entitled China Camp, 2005.
The large All Quiet on the Western Front work, originally created for the 2008 Banned and Recovered exhibition, has been acquired by Saint Mary's College Museum and will be part of their "Trench Warfare" exhibition from February 2nd through April 13th, 2014. The curators are also considering exhibiting two additional drawings for the same exhibition. 
Cantor Arts Center

Inside Bay AreaNovember 6, 2013,
by Lou Fancher

MORAGA --"The Artist Revealed: Artist Portraits and Self-Portraits," a new exhibit open through Dec. 15 at Saint Mary's College's Museum of Art, proves some people are just terrific at packing.

"Cars are vain and enjoy being photographed," Lubliner's exhibit notes proclaim. From the walls of the narrow, newly-added gallery, seductive, mysterious "models" demand admiration, if not outright adoration -- not of the cars, but of Lubliner.

It's rare when a photographer's instincts can upstage the elegance of a 1937 Airflow or the edgy groove of an Eldorado, Or elevate the grit of a 1916 Chalmers with shadowy textures a viewer can feel as much as see. Or unleash a fluid color sense to emblazon a red Rambler in one's permanent memory and turn a '66 Dodge van into a desirable destination.

Shot with a 35 mm digital SLR camera (he now uses a Nikon D700), Lubliner had switched from painting to photography, a move he calls "excellent for career and historic reasons" in a response to an inquiring email. He chronicled LA's art scene during the '60s and 70s: the J. Paul Getty Museum recently purchased his archive from that period.

Working in both black-and-white and color, Lubliner is masterful with shadow, which often, ironically, reveal his obvious sense of humor. In "Tennessee Pontiac" (1974), the amiable auto inches its nose partially into blistering sunlight, its headlights appearing to glance sideways -- it's Charlie Chaplin on wheels. Irony unfolds after the chuckles, in the form of slashing red diagonals, or, in another image, in a rusted Ford, weathering like driftwood on a beach.

Lubliner attributes his results to "the force of the unintended consequence" and "following unconscious and well practiced habits," concluding, "I have a long, comfortable and trusting relationship with my muse."

21 CARS IN RAULAND, NORWAY The Rauland Kunstforening Gallery in Rauland, Norway is hosting an exhibition of Mr. Lubliner's series of automobile portraits. This series began in 1970 after seeing a Robert Frank photograph titled "Covered Car, Long Beach". The series had it's first showing at the Mitzie Landau Gallery in West Los Angeles in 1982 and then moved to Berlin were it was hosted by Berlin's City Arts organization. View the series >>

           My page on the Craig Krull Gallery site

The Slaughterhouse Space which is a wonderful, ex-industrial exhibition space in Healdsburg. CA. and part of the Lenz family's Duchamp Winery, will host a major exhibition and auction commemorating Marcel Duchamp. The show titled: SEDUCTION OF DUCHAMP - Bay Area Artists' Response, runs from October 3, 2009 - November 7, 2009

Mr. Lubliner created two works specifically for the exhibition; a photo montage based on Duchamp's T um' called Duchamp, Pret-A-Porter and a push-broom and Lucite sculpture called The Broom Ensnared In His Pristine Haven. A parody of The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors Even.

Also both the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times have taken note of the current Duchamp revival with an article about his permanent exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum:

Richard Serra
This month, May 2009, The National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC purchased a vintage print of one of Mr. Lubliner's portraits of sculptor Richard Serra. The photograph was taken in 1969 as part of Mr. Lubliner's coverage of the famed Art & Technology Program created by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Malcolm Lubliner is one of sixty artists participating in a major exhibition on the subject of banned books organized by curator Hanna Regev.

All Quiet on the Western Front

Phase one of the exhibition opened on August 15th, 2008 in San Francisco at The Center for the Book and Phase two, the one in which Mr Lubliner's work will appear, opens on September 5th, 2008 at the African American Museum and Library in Oakland. Mr. Lubliner's book selection is All Quiet on the Western Front, the powerful anti-war novel by Erich Remarque published in 1928 and banned by Hitler in 1933 calling it "anti-German and anti-patriotic".

Mr. Lubliner's piece is a four by six foot image containing interpretive drawing and reproductions of WW1 photographs of dead and dismembered soldiers who suffered the agonies of trench warfare.

This is the artist's statement about the work:
“All Quiet on the Western Front”

The montage composed of photographs of dead and dismembered soldiers is a pivotal part of the image. It is intended to give viewers a taste of conditions on the front lines during World War One. They came from a Brussels based archive, The Great War in a Different Light, which contains hundreds of similar photographs taken by photojournalists who had seemingly few editorial restrictions, although some of these were also banned.

The Gothic German text is an abstracted version of the original title taken from the book’s first edition dust jacket. Translated the title reads, “In The West Nothing New”, which was apparently Erich Remarque’s sardonic commentary on how little concern or sympathy the military leadership had for the men in the trenches where life was consistently and pervasively miserable.

The soldier in the drawing has volunteered for service under great social pressure and against his instincts. He is a missionary for his government’s interests although he will not profit from them. He is both perpetrator and victim, ringmaster and clown. He is neither alive nor dead and no longer has control over the flames of his volition. A ghost of what might have been a rich life; he is now a scrap of currency in an international gamble.

The woman in the drawing, wise and skeptical of military motives is silenced by cultural tradition. Burdened by the absurdity of war and the imperatives of home, her memories, real and invented, mingle with dreams and demons. She reads the news of battles and stares at the street now barren of young men except for those who paid for their loyalty with severed limbs or broken minds, although even that was often no excuse for absence from duty.


COOL SCHOOL - Los Angeles Premiere
In Los Angeles on June 27th, the American Arts Documentary Foundation premiers its film, COOL SCHOOL.

New York City has long been regarded as the heart of the American art movement, but near the end of the 1940's, as the post-war rise of Abstract Expressionism became the new wave of painting in the United States, a small but determined band of painters, curators and collectors on the West Coast were determined to make themselves known. Filmmaker Morgan Neville examines the rise of the Los Angeles art scene and how it brought a new and vigorously American slant to contemporary painting in the documentary, "The Cool School." Neville profiles Walter Hopps and Irving Blum, owners of the Ferus Gallery, which championed the new school of Los Angeles art; sculptors Ed Kienholz and Larry Bell and painters Ed Ruscha, John Altoon and Billy Al Bengston, all of whom were championed by the Ferus Gallery; architect Frank Gehry, whose ideas dovetailed with those of the new L.A. artists; and Dennis Hopper and Dean Stockwell, actors and Hollywood bohemians whose love of the new L.A. art (and willingness to buy pieces) provided crucial support for a struggling movement. Jeff Bridges serves as narrator. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide.

The film also includes ten of Malcolm Lubliner's photographs from his archive of the times and the artists who appear in the film; Ed Ruscha, Wallace Berman, John Altoon, Ed Kienholz, Billy Bengston, Ken Price and others. Lubliner was then the contract photographer for Gemini G.E.L. and for the Arts and Technology Program of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He was also active in covering much of the art and gallery scene then and was a prominent contributor to the 1996 Craig Krull Gallery exhibition "Photographing the LA Art Scene 1955 - 1975. Opening on September 27th and continuing through November 14th, 2007, Sonja Marck and The 8 Gallery in San Francisco, who represents Mr Lubliner, will exhibit more than thirty, mostly vintage photographs from that historic period.

Oakland Museum of California Me Two (see below) is in the collection of the Oakland Museum of Art. A statement from the artist reads: "These works are printed on a Kodak material called Translite, which is no longer manufactured. It's made of silver emulsion on acetate which I back with a sheet of chrome mylar.  Under direct light the mylar reflects back through the acetate producing an unusual silver glow and because there is a thin space between the acetate and the reflecting surface, the images sometime dislocate making them appear three dimensional.  I like science and technology and frequently search for new vehicles for the images but the optical qualities in these came about accidentally more as a result of my interest in translucency.

"Conceptually, the work is about the human penchant for complex belief systems and the ramifications of that.  To explore the point I create tableaus in which I arrange objects in ironic or "inappropriate" relationships and use uncommon, broken or altered objects as the players. The self portrait Me Two is not really me.  Even if it were a traditional portrait it would still only be a symbolic illusion based on implication.  I say that it's me and people agree to take my word for it but since that version of me is only a shadow amongst other shadows of equal weight and isn't me in the familiar form, what is it?"
Me Two, 1998

Also from the Syracuse Museum:
Dear Mr. Lubliner,
I am writing to inform you that our Advisory Committee met last week and approved your generous donation of "Me Two, 1998" for inclusion in our our permanent collection.  We will accession the piece into our collection in the next few weeks and you will be receiving paperwork from our offices documenting this process.
We will also be sending you a deed of gift and acknowledgement letter for tax purposes.  Unfortunately, as both creator and donor of the artwork, IRS regulations dictate that you can only receive a deduction equal to the value of your time and materials to create the art.  

I do want to thank you again for your interest in our collection and best wishes for your future endeavors.
Domenic J. Iacono
Director, Syracuse University Art Galleries
Shaffer Art Building
Syracuse University, New York 13244

DuChamp Pret-A-Porter
The Seduction of Duchamp at The Los Gatos Museum

The Seduction of Duchamp, the traveling exhibition that began its tour at the Duchamp Winery's Slaughterhouse Space in Healdsburgh, CA October 2009 will open at The Art Museum of Los Gatos on September 10, 2010 and run through October 29, 2010.

In commemoration of the event, The Museum has received on loan, two original Marcel Duchamp drawings from The Collection of Harry W. and Mary Margaret Anderson. They are also providing the funds to underwrite a Catalog for the exhibition.

Also, in commemoration, Mr. Lubliner has produced two posters that will be available at the Art Museums gift store.


Thresher Collection
Bancroft Library Acquires Historic Thresher Collection
October 2007, The renowned Bancroft Library on The UC Berkeley campus, acquired Malcolm Lubliner's entire collection of original, 5 x 7 film positives of historic Mexico, circa 1900. The photographs are the work of the Los Angeles based photographer G.P. Thresher and had been in Mr. Lubliner's possession since 1965. Thresher was a passionate and talented amateur, who was known for his images of California missions and his travels throughout the American southwest, did some of his best work in Mexico in the years leading up the revolution. Included in the collection were original photographs of the Thresher family in their Los Angeles home and a residency document in Thresher's own hand.
View the portfolio >>

August 11, 2006 — The Bedford Gallery on behalf of the City of Walnut Creek has acquired six large prints from photographer Malcolm Lubliner. The images are from the series "Significant Places" and were presented as a gift to the city. Mr. Lubliner has an extensive national and international exhibition history and the Bedford and the city were pleased to receive the works.

Transmissions Gallery, the new Berkeley exhibition space established in a former transmission repair building, is exhibiting several of Malcolm Lubliner's automobile photographs dating from the 1970's. The work was included, along with the work of several other local artists in their inaugural exhibition in February of 2006.

The Azzurra Project in Marina Del Rey, CA. purchased two photographs from Malcolm Lubliner's archive of historically important artists, one of Sam Francis and one of John Altoon as part of their collection and celebration of the major contribution those California based artists made in the 1960s and 70s. The large, thirty by forty inch prints are installed along with the artist's work on the 6th and 8th floors of the condo complex.

Rush Creek Editions Press, the Santa Fe based fine arts printer and gallery has added Malcolm Lubliner to its roster of artists and will be showing and representing his work starting June 2006.

Benicia Park 2001
December 2008, The Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, California has agreed to acquire a print of Mr. Lubliner's photograph "Benicia Park 2001". The majority of Mr. Lubliner's urban landscape images are large, archival pigment prints approximately, 22 x 28 inches. View the portfolio >>


Cantor Exhibition Presents Rarely Seen Art by Robert Rauschenberg Documenting First Manned Flight to the Moon
Loose in Some Real Tropics: Robert Rauschenberg’s “Stoned Moon” Projects, 1969–70
December 20, 2014–March 16, 2015
See full story on Cantor Arts Center website >>

Treasures from the Vault:
Malcolm Lubliner’s Photographs of the L.A. Art Scene
B. Karenina Karyadi, May 4, 2015 - See Full Review >>

San Jose Mercury News

Richmond photographer's bold images find a home at The Getty

By Lou Fancher - November 18, 2013

RICHMOND -- Photographer Malcolm Lubliner is not as he appears.

Like the soulful shadows and slashing diagonals lurking in the bold black and white or blazing colors of his images, the 80-year-old photographer's friendly, mild manner only hints at the underlying political and cultural firebrand.

The Richmond resident, who moved from his "beautiful double-yard, Mediterranean-style Oakland home" after giving up early idyllic visions of urban farming, has been chronicling California culture for decades. An avid fan of celebrated graffiti artist Banksy and public mural masters in Oakland, he has more in common with today's taggers than yesterday's Rotarians.

Recently, the Getty Research Institute purchased Lubliner's entire collection of late 1960s and 1970s images.

"Malcolm Lubliner's photographic archive is an excellent complement to significant archival holdings already in the Special Collections," says Marcia Reed, Getty Research Institute chief curator.

"It took 15 years, but they now have it all," Lubliner says. "For me, it's a resolution of that time."

In the '60s and '70s, after arguing policy and cartooning during a four-year stint with the U.S. Navy, Lubliner was hired by Kenneth Tyler as the contract photographer for Tyler's Los Angeles-based Gemini G.E.L., a premier publisher of limited edition prints.

L.A.'s lavish scene was in a seminal period, with West and East Coast legends like Ron Irwin, Jasper Johns, Claes Oldenburg, Roy Lichtenstein and Robert Rauschenberg shaking up the conventional art world. Gathered like stars at Hollywood parties -- or their subversive humor captured in rare, private studio portraits -- Tyler says, in an email, "Malcolm's wealth of images capture the zeitgeist of an exciting era in their uncanny precision and inclusiveness."

Lubliner remembers gambling -- putting aside his paint brush, purchasing a 35mm camera and a storefront and pitching a pictorial story profiling the making of a fine art print.

"I just migrated into documenting the birthing of what came to be called the L.A. art renaissance," he says. "As a kid, I knew the city as a vast wasteland. Suddenly, it was developing culture, with parties for people like David Hockney, Jasper Johns, choreographer Merce Cunningham."

Craig Krull Gallery in Santa Monica has represented Lubliner for decades and Krull says Lubliner's photos "capture the raw and exuberant energy" of the period.

Lubliner's body of work shows he never restricted himself to snapping only the glitterati.

"Auto Culture," an arresting collection featuring vehicles of all ages and conditions in urban and natural settings, makes plain the characteristic poignant-funny duality of his approach. Cars are aliens, clowns, masters, mistresses -- and more than anything, so are their owners, the photos suggest.

"The Anxious Landscape" photos, in which his use of shadow in pathos-saturated black and white images rises to the level of dramatic genius, leave the viewer pondering humans' relationship to place. In the 1980s Lubliner began creating still lifes made with fragile, vulnerable things.

"I used torn papers, broken objects never conceived of as sentimental or decorative," says Lubliner, who likes his Nikon D700's broader capabilities.

Shot against Translite, a Kodak material he backed with chrome Mylar, the objects appeared 3-D.

But the works' visual novelty is far less important than their message.

A 2009 commission for Oakland's African American Museum stands out: a 6-foot montage of unedited photos from a WWI magazine and handwritten inscriptions are a massive cry against war proponents' investment in money, not humanity.

"I carry my pacifist protest views right out in front, very conscious," he insists. "But my landscapes and cars show my affection for humor. I used to deliver photos for a drugstore and keep the discards. Rejected photos showed astonishing images. They were of things people valued but didn't recognize as ironic. My lunacy picked up the humor."

He hasn't given up the idea that art should dispense socio-political lessons, lit with humor and expressed to expose succinct, focused juxtapositions.

"Art moves; it doesn't rest," he says. "Early tagging is no good to anyone, but Banksy and contemporary art influenced by hip-hop culture and graffiti styles are critically important. They are as direct as anything I know of in art history."

In addition to the Getty, Lubliner's images can be seen locally at the Oakland Museum of California, the Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley and Saint Mary's College Museum of Art ("The Automotive Landscape"). His work is also at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, Australia' National Gallery of Art Kenneth Tyler Collection, the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian Institution.

November 2012, The J.Paul Getty Research Institute has purchased Malcolm Lubliner's photographic archive. The archive covered much of the developing art world in Los Angeles between 1967 and 70. In that period Lubliner was also the contract photographer for Gemini GEL and The Los Angeles County Museum of Art's, Art and Technology Program. The archive consisted of several hundred prints and thousands of negatives. Reproduction rights and research and study access will eventually be available through Getty Images and The Research Institute.

Show at the Richmond Art Center
September 2012 Show at the Richmond Art Center

January 2010 Show at the Togonon Gallery
SF Chronicle/96 Hours review by Nirmala Nataraj:

LaFayette Library purchases Seaborg Portrait
Seaborg Portrait

September 30th 2009. The Lafayette Library and Learning Center in Lafayette, California has just agreed to purchase Mr. Lubliner's 1986 portrait of Nobel Prize winner Glenn Seaborg.

The Lafayette Library and Learning Center represents a community-driven effort to build a regional resource and national model for the library of the future. Hailed as a “national model” for libraries, the Lafayette Library and Learning Center will also be home to the Glenn Seaborg Learning Consortium, an innovative partnership of the region’s leading arts, culture, and educational institutions.

Informative Links:

Bancroft Library Acquires Eight Malcolm Lubliner Photographs

The University of California at Berkeley's Bancroft Library that houses one of the largest collections of historic photographs in the world, last month acquired eight large photographic prints of the collapse of the Embarcadero Freeway in San Francisco. The event that was triggered by the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake altered the city's traffic patterns.


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