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Lisa Liebmann

Lisa Liebmann, October 8, 1982. Photo: Timothy Greenfield-Sanders.

LISA LIEBMANN was a passionate explainer. She wrote fine-textured prose that detailed the interplay of the subtle, shifting, often evanescent sensations connected with the act of looking—and that expressed her complex, animated, and mostly approving relationship to art and to the scene. Her writing was imaginative; she could take vast interpretive leaps without bothering to look over her shoulder. She was the embodiment of an engaged critic—a participant, in many ways the ideal audience member. Lisa let the art, whatever it was—painting, opera, ballet, literature—flow through her. She understood that art is made by artists and as a result there is nothing to be afraid of.

As a person, Lisa was warm and humorous—gemütlich—with a wonderfully insistent, even agitated manner of speaking. She had lovely, alert eyes and an intelligent mouth. She dressed with

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