Opening exhibition “Leap of Faith” Museum de Fundatie Zwolle

Opening exhibition “Leap of Faith” Museum de Fundatie Zwolle

Klibansky's work reflects the today’s world, or rather: tomorrow's world. Inspired by technology, fashion, design, architecture, travel and music his work gives shape to a world that balances utopia with nightmare. His paintings, collages, prints and sculptures are dynamic, colourful and imaginative, with a nod to the surrealists here and there. ‘Leap of Faith’, from 28 January to 14 May 2017 in De Fundatie, is Klibansky's first solo exhibition in a museum in the Netherlands and provides an excellent overview of his burgeoning yet already impressive oeuvre. In the sculpture garden of Kasteel het Nijenhuis, Klibansky’s colossal Self-Portrait of a Dreamer is on display, which last year stole the show at the Lowlands music festival in Biddinghuizen.

"Leap of Faith" is on view from January 28 – May 14, 2017


Thematically, Klibansky's exhibition revolves around our current concept of 'faith', which is no longer experienced strictly from a religious perspective, but felt more as a general sentiment of hope for mankind and the planet’s future. This idea is clearly expressed in the new, larger-than-life sized bronze sculpture that gives the exhibition its title. The sculpture depicts an astronaut carrying a heavy golden cross, a powerful amalgam of modern and old symbols. "Symbols are like pictograms on a smartphone," observes Klibansky. "An instant means of communication. They’re intrinsic to the time we live in, where everything goes faster and is much more condensed than in earlier times." The astronaut has appeared in a number of his artworks since 2009. Klibansky sees space travellers as pioneers of a new frontier, of new worlds and as guides pointing towards an as yet unknown future.

Iconic figures

‘Leap of Faith’ includes two and three dimensional works. All types of motifs are combined in Klibansky's digital paintings. The collages of many hundreds of photographs are worked in both traditional and modern methods, portraying colourful fantasy worlds and fairytale-like cityscapes. The images have a narrative structure. The image at first sight can be overwhelming, however the details are slowly revealed. Included among the works in Zwolle is New Urban Wonderland; a series of city portraits the artist has been working on since 2006. Some new works on canvas show iconic figures from familiar cartoons and fairy tales, arranged in a linear manga style. There is a strong correlation between the paintings and the sculptures, which bear titles such as Reflections of Truth 1 and 2 (Pinocchio), Velvet Revolution (Statue of Liberty), Equilibrio Iconico (Miffy), and Reflections of Youth (Bambi). These and other works can be considered as post-conceptual, enriched with a strong visual aesthetic and a sense of irony. A video about Big Bang, Klibansky’s sculpture of a grumpy gorilla in a party hat, was especially made for the Zwolle exhibition.


Joseph Klibansky was raised in an international and creative environment. He was born in Cape Town in 1984 to a South-African father, a photographer, and a Dutch mother who works as a stylist. In the Netherlands Klibansky studied at a business school before devoting his talents exclusively to art. Klibansky continually explores innovative techniques to realise his ideas. Among other things he uses digital image processing and 3D printing techniques, which he sometimes combines with traditional materials. Polished and unpolished bronze are among his favourite materials. He enjoyed considerable success in Venice in 2016 with an exhibition in the Palazzo Cavalli-Franchetti at the Canal Grande, which attracted over 25,000 visitors. 'Leap of Faith' is his first solo exhibition in a museum in the Netherlands. Klibansky is a familiar guest at the museum. His nine-meter high Self-Portrait of a Dreamer was placed in the castle's sculpture garden in 2016.

Uitgeverij Waanders & de Kunst will publish ‘Joseph Klibansky - Leap of Faith’.

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