Morpeth Contemporary Presents Mystery, Memory and Magic: The Art of Lyanne Malamed.

Reported Monday, June 24, 2024

Pictured Above: Lyanne Malamed: “Bird Catchers II” – oil, acrylic, paper, 24K gold leaf on linen, 52 x 44.  Photo Credit: Contributed.

Mystery, Memory and Magic: The Art of Lyanne Malamed is on view at Morpeth through June 30th



Hopewell, NJ – Morpeth Contemporary, in Hopewell, is presenting Mystery, Memory and Magic: The Art of Lyanne Malamed. This is a posthumous exhibition of paintings by the New Jersey artist (1931-2022), on view now through Sunday, June 30.


Enigmatic and alluring, Lyanne Malamed’s work is, in many ways, art “for the ages.”

Her depictions of children, mothers, adults, and the elderly represent the entire cycle of human life, including death, with all its joys and sorrows. Her work also explores an afterlife in the traditional Christian context of Heaven, symbolized by a brighter, colorful palette, winged angels and weightless human forms. Her allegorical use of birds as vessels for souls passed is a clear representation of tethers between the living and the departed. Inspired by both historical and contemporary art, Malamed invented her own visual vocabulary by repurposing traditional poses, garments, and symbolism in striking juxtapositions.

Her signature series depicting elderly women, often using real gold leaf, evokes Medieval and Early Renaissance times in a surrealistic manner. According to Malamed:


“My work has always been about people: lovers, brides and families. In recent years it has focused on the isolation and alienation of the elderly in our society as seen especially in old women. These paintings are not a series of traditional portraits; I do not work from models or photographs. The faces that are presented to the world are often masks that may hide panic and fear. I have tried to show the real dignity and power which is retained by those who grow old in a hostile environment.”


Lyanne Malamed was born in the small town of Alton, Iowa, during the Great Depression. Because she was never able to visit a museum during her formative years, her initial exposure to art was limited to reproductions in art history books.  Nonetheless, Lyanne pursued a professional art career and graduated from Briar Cliff College in Sioux City, before taking graduate courses in art at the University of Iowa. A professional artist since 1956, Malamed has been exhibited by museums and galleries in over fifteen solo exhibitions and twenty group shows. Her work is represented in numerous private and public collections including Bristol-Meyers Squibb, Johnson and Johnson, and Rider College. Lyanne remained active in her artistic endeavors well into her eighties, when she revisited the medium of egg tempera.

She was persistent and unrelenting in her desire to show her work. Even as her health was declining, just prior to the Covid pandemic, she managed to produce a large solo exhibition. It was important to her that her life’s work be shared with others after her death. The distinctive body of work she left us has secured her legacy within the canon of contemporary female artists. Lyanne would be delighted to know that her work continues to be shown and her stories told. Morpeth Contemporary is proud to be part of her story as a representative of this magnificent collection.

To learn more about Morpeth Contemporary and to view the artist’s catalog, visit:

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