Edward Biberman

Ahmanson Building, Level 2
December 3, 2011–April 1, 2012

American painter Edward Biberman spent several years in Europe in the late 1920s before returning to the United States and continuing his career as a painter in the modernist idiom. His political consciousness was heightened by the Spanish Civil War and the international rise of fascism; throughout his career even his portrait subjects (including Lena Horne and Paul Robeson as well as, later, Martin Luther King) reflected Biberman’s political leanings. Biberman moved to Los Angeles in the mid-1930s. He put his career on hold for the five months in the early 1950s that his brother Herbert, one of the Hollywood Ten, was imprisoned for his refusal to cooperate with the House Un-American Activities Committee.  The experience of living in Los Angeles during this politically charged period profoundly influenced the artist, who continued to live and work here until his death in 1986.

Image: Edward Biberman (United States, 1904-86), Conspiracy, c. 1955, Oil on board, Purchased with funds provided by the Judith Rothschild Foundation; Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren & Sloane, L.L.P.; Daniel Greenberg and Susan Steinhauser; the Frederick, R. Weisman Philanthropic Foundation; Dr. Judd Marmor; Paul and Suzanne Muchnic; the Reese E. and Linda M. Polesky Family Foundation; and Marvin and Judy Zeidler. M.2002.86.

Edward Biberman’s Conspiracy

I was a double major as an undergraduate, in art history and political science, and have always loved the intersection of art and politics. I think that was what first drew me to Edward Biberman, particularly his 1955 painting Conspiracy, currently on view in the Ahmanson Building as part of a focused installation of LACMA’s Biberman holdings...

I Had a Dream

The art of Edward Biberman is currently on view in a special installation, and in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Day, this Monday, I want to make sure our audiences know about his painting of Dr. King on display. Acquired last June thanks to the generosity of the American Art Council, I Had a Dream was Biberman’s response to Dr. King’s 1968 assassination. Prominently placed in the exhibition space, Dr. King’s eyes are unavoidable and draw you into his vision and the gallery...