Tom Lieber was born in St. Louis, Missouri. His fascination with maritime lore (he collects model ships) may partly account for the ramifying growths and the general "wetlands" look of his works. Asked about his childhood memories of the Mississippi River and the relevance to the current work, Lieber mentions, "shadowy greens and thickness of water, the sun flickering on it - how it enters through your eyes and goes into your spine, crystal moments from interior life.”
Lieber’s use of gesture stems from the abstract expressionist tradition exemplified by Jackson Pollock and Franz Kline; yet, his subtle color and tonal variations reveal an affinity to the painterly minimalism of Brice Marden. Lieber's later work represents a more physical and powerful approach. Oftentimes, a single brushstroke or gesture anchors the painting, allowing the underlying color fields and tonal variations to recede and advance across the ground.
Tom Lieber is a recipient of a National Endowment of the Arts Grant and has exhibited extensively since 1974. In 2003, the Honolulu Contemporary Museum in Hawaii organized a major show of his work. His paintings and monoprints are included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, in California; and the Tate Gallery, London.
“You don’t have to be in New York to make good art,” Lieber said. “It’s the center of commerce, but if you’re inspired you can make art anywhere.”
Lieber worked with great energy in January 1993 at STUDIO-f producing many rich lithographic monoprints. Lieber uses overlapping tangles of lines, looping and exploding in horizontal, vertical and diagonal directions over ground of luminescent color to create his monoprints. Linear elements applied with skill and spontaneity create limitless space. His work reflects his efforts to channel his interior life onto the canvas in the most intuitive and emotional manner possible.
Lieber’s current home is in Hawaii.