PRINT October 2016


Lisa Liebmann

Page from Artforum, April 1992. Lisa Liebmann, “Grand Elisions.” Page from Artforum, October 1987. Lisa Liebmann, “Icons at Large: X Marks the Spot.”

LISA LIEBMANN was a friend, but I knew her first as a writer. Her thoughts seemed to percolate in a brain that never stopped cooking. When she spoke, words tumbled out in such a fizzy rush that even she would stumble over them in her haste to make room for the next fusillade, adding a sprinkle of French and quick, stuttering gestures of the hand that mirrored the circles she was drawing around your own startled mind. On the page, she was just as nimble, writing in acrobatic language that somersaulted between archaic formality and vernacular prose.

“No dog is more intelligent or more sociable than the French poodle,” she begins “The Imagination in Sheep’s Clothing,” her three-thousand-word Artforum review of a 1968 Boucher show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The piece ultimately, and unexpectedly, brings in works by Kenny Scharf, General Idea, and Eric Fischl and makes perfectly

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