My work is an exploration of the theme of the “diva” – the flamboyantly uninhibited female and the personal and political empowerment she represents.
As a painter, graphic artist, and animator I have been inspired by puppets and absurdist theatre. Although my images are often drawn from life, they are influenced by puppet–like characters reminiscent of Alfred Jarry’s forerunner of absurdist theater, Ubu-Roi, the buffoons of modernist playwright Michel de Ghelderode, the existentialist mime plays of Samuel Beckett, and the symbolist and political figures of European puppet theater. As a point of departure, there is a degree of abstraction in a puppet. I find this to be a freeing force, giving me considerable license to explore colorist and gestural solutions to the depiction of contradictions these images embody: awkward yet fluid, wooden yet alive, constrained yet brashly extroverted personalities, often mischievous, egotistical, erotic, even magical exaggerations of human behavior.
I have developed some of these “diva” and puppet-inspired works into experimental animated films requiring thousands of drawings. My animations have usually been in collaboration with filmmaker Warren Bass. They have been broadcast on American Public Television and cable, and have received awards and juried recognition in over 20 countries. They use animation as an analog to painting, dance and poetry, and are intended to re-define the paradigm of what an animation can be into a painterly art form.. The process of animation has, in turn, influenced my full scale paintings and works-on-paper producing diptychs, triptychs, and serial prints with progressive deviations.
On a formal level, I think of myself as a colorist who is interested in the interaction between color, line and gesture and in the complex and suggestive depiction of interior character and personality through graphic means.
LIZ GOLDBERG is trained in painting and graphics with an MFA from Pratt Institute and a BFA with honors from York University. She is currently on the art faculty of Pratt in New York City and Drexel University in Philadelphia. She has over 20 solo exhibitions, and numerous juried group shows in the U.S. and Canada. She is the recipient of the Leeway Foundation Window of Opportunity Grant for Women, the Wayne Visual Arts Grant for painting, the Muse Film Award for animation, international exhibition invitations from organizations such as the Henson Foundation, and multiple Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Individual Artist Fellowships.
From 1999 to the present, Liz has collaborated with filmmaker Warren Bass on a series of hand-drawn animated films that have received international recognition. Their work has been broadcast on American Public Television and cable, and curated as exhibitions at institutions like the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Woodmere Museum of Art, and the Barnes Foundation. Their animations have received the Platinum Rimi Award (1st Place) Houston Worldfest; 1st Place Athens International; 1st Place First Glance; 1st Place Bare Bones International; 1st Place New Jersey International; Best-of-Festival Rochester International; the British Animation Awards; Chlotrudis Awards (Boston); First and Second Places New Haven International; Second Prize Canadian International (NFB Toronto), Semi-Finalist Los Angeles CineFest, Semi-Finalist Alternative Film International (Toronto); and official juried selections at numerous international film festivals including Oberhausen, Liepzig, Chicago, Rome, Budapest, Kazinczy (Hungary), Moscow, Venezuela, Festival Brasil de Cinema Internationale (Brazil), Festival Némo Images Experimentales Internationales (Paris), Visionaria (Italy), Saint John’s (Newfoundland), Uppsala, H2O (Netherlands, plus a tour of Europe), DeReel (Australia), Canadian International (Montreal), St. Johns (Newfoundland), Ajijic (Mexico), and Rio de Janeiro, in a total of 23 countries.
Liz has been represented by Amsterdam Whitney Gallery, NYC, and Gallerie Chiz in Pittsburgh. She was featured in the Katonah Museum “INTIMATE / INANIMATE –– The Art of Contemporary Puppet Theater” curated by Leslee Asch and has produced the animations that were used as stage sets in the new Ballet “STICKY”.
Pratt Institute MFA
York University BFA, with honors
Awards & Honors
2010 Katonah Museum of Art, The Art of Contemporary Puppet Theater Premiere: "AL SON DEL DIABLO"
2009 Havana Film Festival "AL SON DEL DIABLO"
2004 Worldfest International Film Festival Platinum Remi (First Place) for "Beat Box Philly"
Athens International Film Festival First Place for "Beat Box Philly"
First Glance International Film Festival First Place for "Beat Box Philly"
H2O Festival, exhibition in the Netherlands and European Tour Official selection, “Beat Box Philly”
Chlortrudis Awards, Boston Juried winner (one of 13 exhibited winners) for "Beat Box Philly"
Media Wave International Festival, Kazinczy, Hungary Juried Selection, "Beat Box Philly"
Hungarian Touring Arts Festival Juried International Tour Selection, "Beat Box Philly"
Black Point International Film Festival, WI Juried Selection, "Beat Box Philly"
James River Film Festival, Richmond, VA Juried Finalist, "Beat Box Philly"
Woods Hole International Film Festival, MA Juried Finalist, "Beat Box Philly"
Canadian International Festival of Films on Art, Montreal Official Selection, "Beat Box Philly"
Oberhausen International Film Festival, Germany Official Selection, "Beat Box Philly"
Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival, Brazil Official Selection, "Beat Box Philly"
Humboldt International Film Festival, CA Official Selection, "Beat Box Philly"
Philadelphia International Film Festival, PA Official Juried Selection, "Beat Box Philly"
2003 WYBE/35 Public TV Broadcast premiere "Beat Box Philly"
PA Council on the Arts Individual Artist Fellowship
2002 British International Animations Awards Curated invitation
Seoul International Festival, Korea Juried invitation
Ajijic International Film Festival, Mexico Juried selection
2001 New Haven International Film Festival First Place, Experimental
Leipzig International Film Festival, Germany Juried selection
2000 PA Council on the Arts Individual Artist Fellowship
dWHYY/CH. 12 Independent Image Series, public TV broadcast, "DRUMBA"
MUSE Film Award, Animation
WYBE/35 Curated selection, public broadcast premiere, "DRUMBA"
2016 Vogueing And Other Pleasures, Bethany Mission Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
2014 Cigar Queens of Havana, Bo Concept Philadelphia Sore
2013 THE EAST COAST DIVAS, Transfer Station Philadelphia
2018 Cuban Queens, film premiere and exhibition in collaboration with filmmaker Warren Bass and animator Lowell Boston, Joan Shepp Luxury Clothing Store, Philadelphia, PA
Strings, film in collaboration with Warren Bass, Fringe Festival, Philadelphia, PA September 9-24
2017 Beat Box Philly, film in collaboration with Warren Bass, Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA June-September
Vogueing, Joan Shepp Luxury Clothing Store, Philadelphia, PA
Painting/Films, Malvern Retreat House, Malvern, PA March
2016 Invitation paintings and graphics for The Chairs by Eugene Ionesco, Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium, Philadelphia, PA
2015 Cigar Queens of Havana, 2 person show, Gallerie Chiz, Pittsburgh, PA
Soiree of the Season, Penthouse Parkway Apartments, Philadelphia, PA
Collaborative media installation, graphics and paintings, Drexel University Fashion Department, Philadelphia, PA
2014 Drexel Faculty Show, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
High Tea and Open Studios, Brooklyn, NY
Open Studios Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
2013 Open Studios Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
Fashion Faculty Exhibition, Pratt Institute, New York, NY
Library Thoughts, Dallas-Budapest Film Festival Hungarian Multicultural Center, Dallas, TX Budapest
2012 STICKY, ballet involving collaborative media installation, Melanie Stewart Dance Company
STRINGS, NYC International Film Festival, New York, NY Juried Selection
Women in the Arts, JAAC Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
2010 The Art of Contemporary Puppet, Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah, NY
2009 Dessert Divas, Amsterdam Whitney Gallery, New York, NY
Group show of paintings and graphics, Gallerie Chiz, Pittsburgh, PA
2008 Group show of paintings and graphics, Gallerie Chiz, Pittsburgh, PA
Divas and Divos, Amsterdam Whitney Gallery, New York, NY
2007 Group show of paintings and graphics, Gallerie Chiz, Pittsburgh, PA
Salon Divas, Amsterdam Whitney Gallery, New York, NY
2005 Group show of paintings and graphics, International Museum of Art, El Paso, TX
WORKS on PAPER, College of New Jersey, Ewing Township, NJ
2004 "Pennsylvania Council on the Arts" group show of graphics and paintings, Erie Art Museum, Erie, PA
In Our Own Backyard, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, statewide museum exhibitions at Lancaster Museum of Art, Main Line Art Center, Erie Art Museum, Southern Alleghenies Museum at Johnstown, Southern Alleghenies Museum at Altoona, Sharadin Art Gallery Kutztown and other sites sponsored by the Richard C. von Hess Foundation Juried Exhibition.