Brilliant Muses: New Works by Mel Leipzig is on display at Trenton Social through August 30th. The Trenton art legend’s impact on the city’s thriving art community is immeasurable.
“For over the past 50 years my paintings have been concerned with the relation of figures painted directly from life to their environments. I never paint from photographs, I feel the use of photographs would dilute the intensity of feeling I am seeking,” Leipzig said.
Born in Brooklyn in 1935, Leipzig resides in Trenton. He worked as a Professor at Mercer County Community College where he taught Painting and Art History until he retired from teaching in 2013. His art career has included over 40 one-man shows, including shows at museums, art centers and university galleries in New York City, New Jersey, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Arkansas.
“In the past, I did preparatory drawings and painting studies for each painting. Since 2009 I have abandoned that practice and started painting without any preparatory drawings or color sketches,” Leipzig said.
He had a Retrospective at the New Jersey State Museum in 1998. In 2009 he was the subject of two exhibitions at the New Jersey State Museum. His works are in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the National Academy Museum and the Cooper-Hewitt Museum in New York City.
“All the paintings in this exhibition are completed from 2020 to the present, and were done with five colors, white, black, yellow, red and blue. In part under the influence of Trenton graffiti artists who I have painted, I started using pure brilliant color in the backgrounds,” Leipzig said.
Brass Rabbit, the curator of Trenton Social, explained that she has spoken with the artist serval times over the phone and in person. “His work stands as a collection of important people, from janitors to politicians. A sense of true equity exists within his portraits as each subject is depicted with the same dignity and care, a sight that is comforting, yet seldom seen in everyday life,” Rabbit said.
Brilliant Muses features several never-before-seen portraits, depicting well known Trenton community members, artists and leaders. A special artist talk will be held on Saturday, August 20 at 4 p.m. Limited edition signed prints will be available throughout the duration of the exhibition through Trenton Social.