The Gazette, Montreal, Saturday, August 28, 2004 Arts 3
(excerpt from the Henry Lehman's review)
" The late Montreal painter Norman Leibovitch ( 1913-2002) is ....getting a long overdue retrospective at the Galerie d'art d'Outremont, which has a sheath of old newspaper reviews attesting to the painter's onetime renown. Leibovitch had several shows in the 40s and 50s at Montreal's West End Gallery, long since relocated from Sherbrooke St. to Greene Ave.
At the Galerie d'art d'Outremont, his works are alternately cool, dark and in sulky greens and ochres or in raging reds and oranges. Together they add up to an open declaration of the rights of emotion.
It's feeling over intellect. Leibovitch's sensibility is of the expressionistic sort: line,brush mark, colour, texture and sheer bravura-which became increasingly dominant as time went on. Highlights include the little 1940's Montreal street scene. all brown and dusky, dominated on one side by the Fox movie theatre. There is also the untitled painting from the 1950s of a horse, cart and driver silhouetted against a sulfurous, unreal yellow sky. Dark elements seem to fly up, as if hit by some explosive force...."
" Also of special note are some of the oils from the 1960s- Leibovitch rarely dated his work-partially controlled brushfires of raw impasto having an almost sculptural presence. From a short distance, the vertical, flame-like forms in a 1960s work, like Formation, seem to dance, materialize and then dematerialize. As for subject matter the artist did landscapes, cityscapes, biblical narratives, interpretive portraits, and nudes-often featuring massively curvaceous women of flesh seemingly made of cotton.
It's about time the public got to see such work by a local boy from the generation that included now deceased artists Louis Muhlstock, Jack Beder and Moe Reinblatt. Its worth noting that Leibovitch, who lived most of his life in Outremont, was not entirely a regional artist, as he studied at the renowned Art Students League in New York....."
" Leibovitch will never be seen as part of any avant-garde movement. His claim to renown is based on the quirky personal nature of his art: expressionist, visionary, childlike, childish, sometimes almost sublime, occasionally not. It's hard to know whether the artist was passionately naive or naively passionate.