Abstract Artist Rene Lichtman’s Work Is on Display at Lawrence Street Gallery

The Ferndale gallery will show the local creative’s geometric paintings through the end of May
Rene Lichtman
“Yellow Field Chance 1” is among the works presented in Rene Lichtman’s new exhibit at Lawrence Street Gallery. // Photograph courtesy of Lawrence Street Gallery.

Metro Detroiters can see the work of local abstract artist, storyteller, and Holocaust survivor Rene Lichtman at Lawrence Street Gallery this month. From May 6 to 30, the Ferndale art gallery will show an exhibit titled Rene Lichtman New Paintings: Chance/Choice.

The exhibit features a collection of Lichtman’s colorful geometric works. As its name implies, the art in the show is influenced by the theme of chance and choice. “There’s a chance element when I begin to paint and then the arbitrary linear elements develop which help me make color choices to complete the work,” says Lichtman in a press release. “[Painter Waissly] Kandinsky was a great influence for me, so patterns just evolve.”

Lichtman says he’s always been interested in art and Surrealism. Born in Paris, France, in 1937 to Jewish parents who had fled from Poland, Lichtman and his mother survived the German occupation of the country and moved to New York when he was 13 years old. He spent years studying under great artists and learning about politics, and he eventually made his way to Detroit in 1969 to co-produce and co-direct Finally Got The News, a documentary about the League of Revolutionary Black Workers.

Rene Lichtman
Rene Lichtman is inspired by the likes of painter Wassily Kandinsky. // Photograph courtesy of Lawrence Street Gallery

Lichtman — who obtained degrees in art and mass communication and a doctoral degree in instructional technology from Wayne State University — now serves as a founding member of the organization Hidden Child/Child Survivors of Michigan. He also regularly speaks at the Farmington Hills-based Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Rene Lichtman New Paintings: Chance/Choice can be viewed in person at Lawrence Street Gallery, located at 22620 Woodward Ave., during the gallery’s open hours from Thursday to Sunday. Guests must wear masks inside Lawrence Street Gallery, and sanitizer stations are available for use. Those interested in viewing and purchasing Lichtman’s work can also do so online.

An opening reception for the exhibition will be held from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on May 7. And from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. on May 16, Lawrence Street Gallery will host a mid-month reception with an in-person lecture from Lichtman. The gallery will also stream the event live on its Facebook page.

For more information, visit lawrencestreetgallery.com.

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Emma Klug is a senior editor and digital content coordinator at Hour Detroit. In her role, Klug writes and edits stories on community, art, food, and lifestyle topics for hourdetroit.com, edits the Hour Daily newsletter, and is involved in planning and proofing the monthly print magazine. She also oversees the editorial web internship program for the magazine. A graduate of Columbia College Chicago, Klug has been with Hour Detroit since 2016. She has also contributed to Hour Media publications DBusiness magazine and Metro Detroit Weddings magazine. You can reach her at eklug@hour-media.com.