Helge Leiberg

Men and women woo each other,
they dance and jump.
In the euphoria of the mind they let their limbs fly.

There are no shadows, no traces in the sand,
no marks in the plaster of time.
We must get through. Obstacles are ignored,
Drum rolls drive us, soprano saxophones
screech extatically into the gray of everyday life.
Electric basses make our innermost being vibrate.

There are no inhibitions. I forgot my resolutions.
The body pulsates in its own rhythm.
A thousand colours and shapes.

Helge Leiberg

 

Helge Leiberg, born in Dresden-Loschwitz in 1954, is primarily a visual artist,

but also a performer and musician.  In many of his works, the boundaries between

visual, acoustic and performing arts are blurred. His directly and straightforwardly

designed figures emerge as a means of signification, as a medium for the formation

of ideas and also as a comprehensive concept that can directly represent the world

in which we live.

 

He brings his figures onto paper or canvas with concentrated, seemingly fast ink strokes.

Almost calligraphically, autonomous figures with an ubiquitous physicality emerge. They

have extra-long arms and legs, are naked, mostly faceless and always in motion. The

elementary colors black and red are dominant. Their body language is universal. Leiberg's

theme is life, especially love, sexuality, power and the ups and downs of human existence.

Since 1997/98 he has also translated his painterly-performative gesture into bronze.

 

The year 1989, the year of the fall of the Berlin Wall, was recorded in diary sheets by

Helge Leiberg, who grew up in the GDR regime. The ink drawings on hand-made paper

sketch the states of mind between jump and fall and are important, personal memorial sheets.

They reflect part of German history from an East-West German perspective and, decades later,

provide the opportunity to approach the events  from an additional perspective.

 

Helge Leiberg studied at the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts from 1973 to 1978. Despite

difficult political circumstances, the painters Michael Freudenberg, A.R. Penck and Helge

Leiberg founded a painters' band in 1979. Penck left the GDR in 1980, Helge Leiberg moved

to West Berlin in 1984.

Already during his art studies, he worked intensively with free jazz and new music and the

combination of various artistic media, for example in experimental films and performances. 

In the 2000s he worked on the Medea saga, which has been one of the best-known materials

in world literature since antiquity. He follows Christa Wolf's novel Medea. Voices, an unusual

portrait of women "between the times". With Christa Wolf and after her death in 2011 also with

the actress Corinna Harfouch, he performs with Medea. Voices also as a performance.

 

In 2013 he was awarded the Brandenburg Art Prize for Painting. 2015 he exhibited at the

56th Venice Biennale. His works are represented in national and international galleries

and museums.

Kleiner Bacchus

so Long