Sofia Leiby: The Drama of Leisure

Sofia Leiby, Untitled, 2013, mixed media on canvas, 22 x 18 inches (courtesy of
Sofia Leiby, Untitled, 2013, mixed media on canvas, 22 x 18 inches (courtesy of the artist)

Alan Pocaro reviews the exhibition Sofia Leiby: The Drama of Leisure at Devening Projects, Chicago, on view through January 18, 2014.

Pocaro writes: "Presented, according to the artist’s statement, as products of her 'free-time,' these airy compositions feel less like assertions of the soul’s liberation from constraints, and more like affirmations of work’s subjugation of the individual. Inscribed into their surfaces, the repeated motifs record a kind of desperation, an internal crusade to uncover meaning and value in an autonomous activity. While Leiby’s paintings are not particularly authoritative visual statements, they are important objects of self-recognition. Buoyant and clumsy, composed of the past and trying to make sense of the future, their frayed edges embody Leiby’s struggle for purpose and by extension, our own."