Libby Black

Print print



Born: 1976, Toledo, OH


1999-01 California College of Arts and Crafts, San Francisco, CA
MFA, Painting and Drawing
1994-99 Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland, OH
BFA, Painting

Selected Solo Exhibitions:

2012 "Nothing Lasts Forever," Marx & Zavattero, San Francisco, CA
2010 "Be Here Now," Marx & Zavattero, San Francisco, CA
"If Nothing Else Matters," PEEL, Houston, TX
"Work Out," San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, San Jose, CA
2009 "Timeless," Charlie James Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2008 "In Between Things," Lamar Dodd School of Art, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
2007 “The Past Is Never Where You Think You Left It,” Heather Marx Gallery, San Francisco, CA
“Libby Black: Work Out,” SPACES World Artists Program, Cleveland, OH
2005 “Caught Up In The Moment,” Heather Marx Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2003 “Louis Vuitton,” Manolo Garcia Gallery, San Francisco, CA
“BENZ,” Grove street windows, San Francisco Arts Commission,
San Francisco, CA
2001 “The Best of the Best,” a.o.v., San Francisco, CA

Selected Group Exhibitions:

2012 "Simulacrum," Columbus College of Art & Design, Columbus, OH (curated by Michael Goodson)
"Cut, Drawn, Painted:  Works on Paper," Margaret Thatcher Projects, New York, NY
"The Haberdashery," Eric Firestone Gallery, East Hampton, NY
"Outfitters: The Contemporary Art of Clothing," Bedford Gallery, Walnut Creek, CA
2011 “Sea Change: The 10th Anniversary Exhibition,” Marx & Zavattero, San Francisco, CA
“Queer States,” Visual Arts Center, University of Texas, Austin, TX
“SHOP: Like You Mean It,” Underline Gallery, New York, NY
“The Elegance of Refusal,” Gensler Architecture Design & Planning, San Francisco, CA (curated by Jessica Silverman)
“New Image Sculpture,” McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, TX
“Fabrications,” Marx & Zavattero, San Francisco, CA
2010 “New Art for a New Century: Contemporary Acquisitions 2000-2010,” Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA
2009 “I Want You To Want Me,” Marx & Zavattero, San Francisco, CA
“Tigersprung: Obscure Couture,” The McKinney Avenue Contemporary, Dallas, TX (curated by Dr. Charissa Terranova)
“Figuratively Speaking,” Lyons Wier Gallery, New York, NY (curated by David Lyle)
“Oh, Maybe…,” OFF-Space, Emeryville, CA
2008 “Belle du Jour,” Collette Blanchard Gallery, New York, NY
“15 Years of Gallery 16: These Are the People in Your Neighborhood,” Gallery 16,
San Francisco, CA
“Art on Paper 2008,” Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC
“Grandma,” Aftermodern, San Francisco, CA (curated by Ann Toebbe)
“PIX 2,” Visual Arts Building, The University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, TX
2007 "Artists of Invention: A Century of CCA," Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, CA
“Don’t Mess With Texas,” Nathan Larramendy Gallery, Ojai, CA
“From Here to Infinity and The Big Bang,” SPACES, Cleveland, OH
“Guns & Ammo,” 40000, Chicago, IL
“Glass Love: Contemporary Art and Surf,” Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum,
Santa Barbara, CA
“GRAPHIC: New Bay Area Drawing,” di Rosa Preserve, Napa, CA
2006 “Luxury Goods,” Kathleen Cullen Fine Arts, New York, NY (curated by
Beth Rudin DeWoody)
“Smoke and Mirrors: Deception in Contemporary Art,” Visual Arts Gallery,
The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
“Strictly Graphite,” College of Marin Art Gallery, Kentfield, CA (curated by
Andrea Antonaccio and Amy Charles)
2005 “Bay Area Now 4,” Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA
“The Superfly Effect,” Jersey City Museum, Jersey City, NJ
“The Real World,” Kala Institute Gallery, Berkeley, CA
“Paper Beats Rock,” cherrydelosreyes, Los Angeles, CA
2004 “2004 California Biennial,” Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA
-scope Miami (Featured Artist), TownHouse Hotel, Miami Beach, FL
“The Hunt: Ritual and Narrative,” Sun Valley Center for the Arts, Sun Valley, ID
“California Dreamin',” Heather Marx Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2003 “Hovering,” Peres Projects, Los Angeles, CA
“Make shift world,” Stephen Wirtz Gallery, San Francisco, CA
“Mark,” Gallery 16, San Francisco, CA
“An Uncertain Line,” Spanganga, San Francisco, CA
“Saving Face,” Works Gallery, San Jose, CA
2002 “I hate being a girl,” Spanganga, San Francisco, CA
“Emerge,” GenArtSF, San Francisco, CA (curated by Heather Marx, Arnold Kemp, James Bewley, and Stephanie Syjuco)
Bay Area Award Show, Musee D'Honneur Minuscule, New Langton Arts, San Francisco, CA
“Openings,” San Francisco Arts Commission, San Francisco, CA
2001 “Memory and History of Place,” Euphart Museum of Art, Los Altos, CA
“Belief System,” The Luggage Store, San Francisco, CA
“These things I know for sure,” Gallery 69a, San Francisco, CA (curated by Harrell Fletcher)
“Never Underestimate the Power of a Drawing,” Refusalon, (Drawing in Residence at Marcy Freedman's House), San Francisco, CA

Awards and Honors:

2007 SPACES World Artists Program, SPACES, Cleveland, OH
2005 Artist in Residence, Montalvo Arts Center, Saratoga, CA
2003 Cultural Equity Grant, The San Francisco Arts Commission, San Francisco, CA
2002 The Goldie Award, San Francisco Bay Guardian, San Francisco, CA
2001 MFA Headlands Studio Awardee, Sausalito, CA
2000 Richard K. Price Scholar Award
All College Honors, Honorable Mention, CCAC, San Francisco, CA

Selected Collections:

Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA
Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, CA
The Chaney Family Collection, Houston, TX
The Beth Rudin DeWoody Collection, New York, NY
The Annette Bollag-Rothschild Collection, Kusnacht, Switzerland

Selected Bibliography:

2012 Kluth, Mary Anne, "Nothing Lasts Forever," Art Practical, Issue 3.15, May
Fellah, Nadia, "Libby Black: Nothing Lasts Forever," New American Paintings Blog, May 11
Frank, Priscilla, "Libby Black’s Objects Of Desire Arrive At Marx & Zavattero," The Huffington Post, April 20
Chun, Kimberly, "Libby Black: Provocative side of looking, being good," San Francisco Chronicle
(96 Hours section), April 12, p. 14
2011 Winn, Steven, "The Fine Art of Baseball: Giants-tinged show," San Francisco Chronicle,
April 6, p. E1
Meehan, Margaret, "Out and About: New Image Sculpture at the McNay,", March 28
"Exhibition Spotlight: Fabrications at Marx & Zavattero," The Huffington Post, February 4
Wood, Sura, "Coming soon to an art gallery near you," Bay Area Reporter, January 13, p. 23
Bowers, Keith, "The Horror, The Humor," SF Weekly (Night & Day section), January 5, p. 18
2010 Brobeck, Catherine, “Faking It: Luxuriating in Libby Black’s Paper Sculptures,” Paper, September, p. 128-9
Baker, Kenneth, “Black is back,” San Francisco Chronicle, April 17, p. E3
Helfand, Glen, “Libby Black: Marx & Zavattero,” (Critic’s Pick), April 16
Cuyler, Gibson, “Be Here Now,” Art Practical, Issue 13: Critical Mass
Eisenhart, Mary, “Don’t Miss: Be Here Now,” San Francisco Chronicle (96 Hours section), March 25, p. 15
Leaverton, Michael, “Go Back to Berkeley,” SF Weekly (Night & Day section), March 24,
p. 22
Dailey, Courtney, “Libby Black: More than Fake,” The Queerist, March 18
2009 Zevitas, Steven T. (Editor), New American Paintings, The Open Studios Press, Boston MA; Number 85, December/January, p. 16-19 and back cover
2008 Lee, Linda, “Pulse Quickens on Day Two,”, December 4
Skelton, April Moore, “Artist renders haute-couture in humble medium,” Athens Banner-Herald, March 9
Keats, Jonathon, “Designer artwork,” San Francisco Magazine, February, p. 70-74
2007 Hall, Christopher, “Where 'Art' Has Met 'Craft' For 100 Years,” The New York Times (Arts & Leisure section), November 11, p. 38
Fogarty, Lori & Hatch, Ann, Artists of Invention: A Century of CCA (catalogue), Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, CA
Stolz, Kit, “Everything’s Bigger in...Ojai? Texas tricks us again - this time with art,” VC Reporter, November 15
Bleecher, Darian, “Don’t Mess with Texas,” Santa Barbara Independent, November 8
Baker, Kenneth, “Libby Black fakes out the marketing impulse,” San Francisco Chronicle, September 15, p. E10
Leaverton, Michael, “Fitted for Travel,” SF Weekly (Night & Day section), September 5, p. 26
“Libby Black exhibit looks back to the past,” San Francisco Examiner, September 4, p. 19
Janku, Laura Richard, “A Century of CCA,” art ltd., September, p. 37-8
Chaffee, Cathleen, “Libby Black, Work Out” (catalogue essay), Spaces World Artists Program, Cleveland, OH, September
Helfand, Glen, “Visual raids: We place our bets on the best gallery and museum shows this fall,” SF Bay Guardian, August 22
Baker, Kenneth, “America’s Artland: San Francisco,” Art+Auction, July, p. 60
Farman, Marie, “Art & Mode: Je T’Aime Moi Non Plus,” Enjoy (France), No. 5, p. 29-31
Zevitas, Steven T. (Editor), New American Paintings, The Open Studios Press, Boston MA; Number 67, January, p. 22-25
2006 Castillo, Arielle, “Alternative Art Fairs,” Art Basel Miami Beach 2006, December, p. 51B
Garnett, Adrienne, “PULSE Miami: Wynwood District Pioneer Returns for its Second Year,” Art of the Times, December, p. 22
Bean, Shawn, “Everything You Need to Know about Florida’s Art Fair Season,” Florida International Magazine, December, p. 124
Feldman, Melissa E., “Libby Black at Heather Marx,” Art in America, January,
p. 129
Cash, Stephanie, “Report from San Francisco II: New and Now,” Art in America, January, p. 58, 62
Cernek, Susan, “Miami Vice,” Elle, March, No. 247, p. 124
Goe, Tara, “Libby Black: Just Like an Object,” Kitchen Sink, Vol. 3 Issue 4, p. 67
2005 Lee, Linda, and Cipriani, Christian, “Basel Brings the Buzz,” Art Basel Miami Beach 2005, December, p. 132
Baker, Kenneth, “Libby Black: Heather Marx,” ARTnews, December, p. 158
Helfand, Glen, “Libby Black: Heather Marx Gallery,” Artforum, November,
p. 258-9
Paiement, Rebecca, “Black Label,” Zink Magazine, December, p. 36-37
Gordon, A.L., “New Yorkers Enjoy Sun, Parties – and Art, Too – at Art Basel Miami Beach,” The New York Sun, December 5, p. 13
Olson, Marisa S., “ 'Take Shape’ at Rena Bransten Gallery,” Artweek, October,
p. 12
Baker, Kenneth, “Black on Geary,” San Francisco Chronicle, September 17,
p. E10
Olson, Marisa S., “ 'Bay Area Now 4' at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts,” Artweek, September, p. 13
Valentine, Christina, “ 'Paper Beats Rock' at cherrydelosreyes,” Artweek, September, p. 22-23
Nunn, Jennie, “Status Symbol: A pseudo-shopgirl makes high-end fashion artfully attainable,” 7x7 Magazine, September, p. 65
Nataraj, Nirmala, “The Black Art: It's only a paper purse,” SF Weekly (See/Be Seen section), September 7, p. 28
Labong, Leilani, “The Best in Art, Auctions and Gallery Openings,” California Home + Design ("City Living" issue), September, p. 76
Varnell, Elizabeth, and Sandoval, Myra, “Gotta Have It,” Papercity, September, p. 25
Baker, Kenneth, “Cross section of Bay Area artists' work highlights the chasm between creators and crowd,” San Francisco Chronicle, July 30, p. E1, E3
Helfand, Glen, “Community Drift: Looking for a focus at 'Bay Area Now 4',” SF Bay Guardian, July 27-August 2, p. 206
Orden, Abraham, “Aperto San Francisco,” Flash Art, July-September, p. 71-72
Chun, Kimberly, “Lil' 'Now' wow,” SF Bay Guardian, July 13, p. 38
Jones, Brent Foster, “Paper Doll: Rising Star Libby Black is Giving the Art World its Fashion Moment,” San Francisco Magazine, May, p. 34
Tunks, Jane, “Keep It Real,” SF Weekly (Urban Experience section), June 1
Boas, Natasha, “art within reach,” domino, Spring/Summer, p. 113
Baker, Kenneth, “Art Notes: Bay Area Now 2005,” San Francisco Chronicle, March 8, p. E2
Genocchio, Benjamin, “Three Facets of a Jersey City Jewel,” The New York Times, February 6, p. 9
Bischoff, Dan, “Low culture writ large at Hudson museum,” The Star-Ledger, February 6, Sec. 4, p. 4
Tumlir, Jan, “California Biennial,” Artforum, February, p. 168
2004 Chattopadhyay, Collette, “ '2004 California Biennial' at OCMA,” Artweek, December/January, Vol. 35 Issue 10, inside back cover
“In Stock,” Flaunt, No. 59 (Sixth Anniversary Collector's Issue), p. 36
von Gustorf, Oliver Koerner, “Wild Wild West: Young Art at the 2004 California Biennial,” db artmag, Issue 23, October 28
Helfand, Glen, “A Blue State,” SF Bay Guardian, November 10, p. 51
Pincus, Robert L., “Tuning in to the O.C.: 'Biennial' belly laughs,” San Diego Union-Tribune, November 7
Helfand, Glen, “Critic's Picks: 2004 California Biennial,”, November
Sicha, Choire, “The Deal of the Art,” The New York Times, October 31, p. 35
Armstrong, Elizabeth, & Hofmann, Irene, 2004 California Biennial (catalogue), Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA
Holl, Jess, “O.C. Museum Takes Flight,” Los Angeles Times, October 10,
p. E45
Chang, Richard, “The Art of the New,” The Orange County Register,
October 10, Arts & Entertainment p. 5
“Burberry Skateboard,” San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Datebook, April 25,
p. 57
Helfand, Glen, “Dream On: Three artists entertainingly deflate Left Coast mythologies,” SF Bay Guardian, April 21, p. 46
Greene, Josh, “Dare to Dream,” 7x7 Magazine, April, p. 32
“10 Days,” Santa Rosa Press Democrat, April 1, p. D3
“Big Calendar,” Contra Costa Times, March 21
2003 Netburn, Deborah, “Migratory Patterns,” Elle Magazine, November, p. 256
Keats, Jonathon, “Bag Drag,” San Francisco Magazine, August
Helfand, Glen, “San Francisco gallery walk,” Art on Paper, May/June, p. 80-81
Olson, Marisa, “An Uncertain Line: Some Approaches to Drawing at Spanganga,” Artweek, May, p. 12
Rubin, Sylvia, “Vuitton accessories, in the latest fabric,” San Francisco Chronicle, May 2, p. D2
Greene, Josh, “Spotlight: Artist exposes our paper city,” 7x7 Magazine, April
Westbrook, Lindsey, “An Uncertain Line,” SF Bay Guardian, Critic's Choice: Art, March 5
Baker, Kenneth, “Drawing at Spanganga,” San Francisco Chronicle, March 1, p. D12
Bing, Alison, “Drawing Conclusions,” Art ePick
2002 Helfand, Glen, “Visual Art: Libby Black,” SF Bay Guardian, November 6, p. 43
Bing, Alison, “I hate being a girl,” Art ePick
Crump, Anne, “To have and have not,” San Francisco Examiner, July 25,
p. 22A
Print print

Press Release


APRIL 13 - MAY 26, 2012

Opening reception for the artist: Saturday, April 21, beginning at 5:00 PM

For more information, contact Steve Zavattero
Phone: 415.627.9111/e-mail:

In Nothing Lasts Forever, Bay Area artist Libby Black’s fourth solo exhibition at Marx & Zavattero, the artist invites viewers into an intimate, personal catalogue of memories and influences of the artist’s past and present. In a departure from her earlier explorations of luxury labels, high-end fashion motifs, and the glitzy emptiness of desire and greed, the Berkeley artist’s new body of work investigates a more subtle reminder that moments in time, though revisited, can never truly come back.

Black’s oil paintings, and gouache & graphite drawings take center stage in this exhibition. Her signature paper, hot glue, & acrylic sculptures – placed at strategic, nondescript locations around the gallery – will complement the show rather than dominate it. Black’s lush oils and works on paper feature personal trinkets, accessories, and books that have shaped who she is today into a series of still lifes that, in effect, become mini self-portraits of the artist. The high fashion references are present, but Black has selected imagery torn from current headlines, online news feeds, and magazine ads that are more moody and ambiguous. Tributes to Manet, Axl Rose, the lesbian-themed 1980s film Desert Hearts, the Waco Texas standoff, the Occupy movement, and Whitney Houston are amongst the flashes of moments in the artist’s – and by proxy our – collective memories. Like the still lifes, Nothing Lasts Forever promises to evoke a very personal journey acting as a revisionist vanitas.

Black’s recent museum exhibitions include New Image Sculpture, McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, TX; Workout Room, San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, and New Art for a New Century: Contemporary Acquisitions 2000-2010, Orange County Museum of Art. She has had solo exhibitions at SPACES, Cleveland, OH; and Broad Street Gallery, University of Georgia, Athens, GA. Other notable exhibitions include the important group survey Artists of Invention: A Century of CCA at the Oakland Museum of California; Bay Area Now 4, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; The 2004 California Biennial, Orange County Museum of Art; The Superfly Effect, Jersey City Museum, NJ; Art on Paper 2008, Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC; and Smoke and Mirrors: Deception in Contemporary Art, Visual Arts Gallery, University of Alabama at Birmingham; and both Fabrications and Sea Change: The 10th Anniversary Exhibition at Marx & Zavattero among many, many others.

Black received her MFA from California College of Arts and Crafts in San Francisco in 2001, and her BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 1999. Her work has been reviewed and featured in Artforum, Art in America, Art & Auction, ARTnews, Paper Magazine, The Huffington Post, Zink Magazine, the New York Times, the Star Ledger, the Los Angeles Times, Elle Magazine, Origina (Mexico City, Mexico), the New York Sun, Art of the Times, New American Paintings, Art Basel Miami Beach (2005 & 2006), San Francisco Magazine, the San Francisco Chronicle, the SF Bay Guardian, Artweek, Flaunt, 7x7 Magazine, and several other publications. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Orange County Museum of Art, the Oakland Museum of California, and The Chaney Family Collection, as well as an impressive number of renowned private collections around the world.

My current work is based on imagery culled from disparate sources like fashion magazines, snapshots, newspapers, pop culture websites, television, movies and still lifes that I have staged. I am interested in having the work chart a path through personal history and a broader cultural context to explore themes of impermanence and identity. Our lives are marked by monumental events and spectacular disasters. I have distinct mental images that represent such experiences for me – things like the birth of my son or the Challenger exploding. Our lives are also filled with mundane moments, small pleasures, and frivolous distractions. The act of drawing and painting these images is an attempt to preserve moments that are already gone or to find meaningful connections between arbitrary things. For me the still life functions in a similar way. It is a staged collection of keepsakes and other personal items displayed with arrangements of cut flowers. Making the work is a way to take pleasure in re-creating attractive objects while also coding my identities (as a daughter, a lesbian, an artist, a mother, a dreamer, a fan, a lover, etc.) into the compositions. Using paper, hot glue and paint, I also have been creating three-dimensional still lifes and re-creating objects of personal significance.

  • For inquiries, please email Heather Marx Art Advisory at H[at]HMxAA[dot]com