Siobhan Liddell’s work delves into felt moments from the most mundane to the monumental. The buildings, landscapes, gardens and bedrooms, journey us through the multilayered nature of being alive; the subtlety, complexity and intensity of loving, longing and losing. Both melancholy and playfulness are woven through the imagery, where we find echoes of bodies, faces and animals. The ceramic objects cleverly interact in these scenes, challenging our perception of form and space. Lived narratives can be seen and felt, yet the deeper stories within the imagery ultimately remain elusive. As a good poem loses its nuance when explained, Liddell’s paintings thrive in their enigmatic essence.
While rarely explicitly autobiographical or diaristic, Liddell reminisces on the external world to approach the kernels of her own being; looking elsewhere to see oneself. Attachment and suspense have remained core qualities distinguishing Liddell’s work, in the expanded sense of their metaphorical (and, I would suggest, autobiographical) nature. Undoubtedly, the landscapes alluded to in the paintings – from mountainous British scenery to the urban fabrics of New York – have soaked up Liddell’s memories of a life lived in devotion to the fossils of touch, fusing materiality and emotion.
– Ksenia M. Soboleva
Siobhan Liddell (b. 1965, Worksop) lives and works in New York. She is a graduate of Central Saint Martins, University of Arts, London. Liddell has presented solo exhibitions at Hollybush Gardens, London (2023); Gordon Robichaux, New York (2022 and 2019); CRG Gallery, New York (2010, 2006, 2002, 1999); Thread Waxing Space, New York (1993); Trial Balloon, New York (1992); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2000); Galerie Eric Dupont, Paris (2010, 2005, 2003, 1995); Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, UK (2001); Bob van Orsouw, Zurich (2001, 1998); and CCA Kitakyushu, Fukuoka, Japan (1997). Her work has been included in notable group exhibitions including Witness: Against Our Vanishing (curated by Nan Goldin), Artists Space, New York; and the 1995 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Most recently, she has exhibited as part of group exhibitions including Get Lifted! (curated by Hilton Als), Karma, New York; Fragments, a two-person presentation with Linda Matalon (curated by Ksenia M. Soboleva), Candice Madey, New York; New Museum, New York; White Columns, New York; Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York; Paula Cooper Gallery, New York; Nature Cult (curated by Donald Mofett), McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, Texas; Yokohama Triennale, Japan; Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, Texas; Parker Gallery, Los Angeles; and Seoul Museum of Art, South Korea.
Liddell’s work is held in the collections of the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and the Dallas Museum of Art. Reviews of her work have appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Frieze, the Brooklyn Rail, the Los Angeles Times, the Village Voice, Art on Paper, and Flash Art.