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OBITUARY

Celebrating the life of 

  Henrietta Gersten-Liebowitz

(a.k.a. Hedy O’Beil) 

(October 20, 1928 - September 6, 2022) 

 

 

 

    

 

 

Henrietta Gersten-Liebowitz (professionally known as Hedy O’Beil) passed away in her sleep Tuesday, September 6, 2022, at age 93 on Long Island, New York.  She was comforted by her dear family in her last days. She was born in New York City on October 20, 1928.  She will be remembered as a kind, loving and caring Mom and Grandma, and an accomplished artist with exceptional talent.  She was beautiful and graceful with a sense of humor!  

 

     Henrietta (Hedy) was a well-known abstract artist painter in New York City.  Her love and driven compassion toward painting was impressive, having painted for over 80 years with creative devotion.  She was known for being a second generation Abstract Expressionist artist.  She was recognized many times as being excellent and unique in her field.  She received two prestigious awards from the Jackson Pollock – Lee Krasner International Foundation for her paintings, in 2009 and again in 2014.  They recognize about 100 artists from around the world, each year.  Hedy had over 70 solo and group art exhibits during her career, including exhibits at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Philadelphia Art Museum, the Heckscher Museum of Art in Huntington, L.I., the Susquehanna Art Museum in Harrisburg, Pa., Guild Hall in East Hampton, L.I., the Carter Burden Gallery in NYC, Gallery 307 in NYC, the Westbeth Gallery in NYC, the Pleiades Gallery in NYC, and the Landmark Gallery in NYC.  She also worked for many years as an art museum tour guide, especially for the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, enlightening countless groups from New Jersey.  In addition, she was an art reviewer for several arts magazines, reviewing many art exhibits, mostly in the New York metropolitan area.  

 

     She never stopped educating herself.  She studied at several highly regarded art schools, including the Brooklyn Museum Art School, with Reuben Tam, the Westbury Art School in NY, with Harry Sternberg, the Skowhegan School of Art, in Maine, the Art Students League in NY, with Ernest Fiene and Harry Sternberg, and the Traphagen School of Art in NYC, and received her Master’s degree from Goddard College in Montpelier, Vermont.  She was so motivated and productive, and continued painting and reading until she was 90 years old, where she lived independently at her Westbeth Artists Apartment (downstairs is their well-known art gallery), in New York City for over 20 years.  She was a true “New Yorker!”  

 

     She began painting when she was 5 years old with her only brother, Gerry Gersten, a famous illustrator / caricaturist who had published his drawings in many books, the New York Times, Mad Magazine and Rolling Stone magazine, among others, who had passed away a few years ago at age 91. 

 

     Her “art name,” Hedy O’Beil, was a combination of Hedy Lamar and Georgia O’Keefe.  (Also, O’Beil was her last name, Liebo spelled backwards.)  Her painting was influenced by artists such as Willem De Kooning, Patrick Henry Bruce, Mark Rothko, Philip Guston, Franz Kline, & Jackson Pollack.  

 

     She is survived by her sons, Seth Jay Liebowitz (wife, Xiaobo LaPresta) and Josh Ethan Liebowitz (wife, Gwen Liebowitz) and their children, Jason Liebowitz, Jared Liebowitz (wife Lindsay Hammon); Liann Liebowitz, Cara Liebowitz; and Mae  (husband Ryan Rowland).  She was married to Jerome Liebowitz for over 20 years. 

 

     We want to thank her for the many beautiful and creative paintings she contributed and left to inspire many people with her shapes and colors, enlarging their artistic imagination and horizon.  She will be forever missed and remembered by her family, friends and art fans!   What a blessing that her legacy will continue, and more people will see her art work for generations to come.  Her next solo painting show is scheduled at the Hoyt Art Center in New Castle, Pa., September - November 2023. 

 

     A memorial service celebrating Hedy’s life has been scheduled. 

 

     In lieu of flowers, those wishing to make a donation in memory of Hedy O’Beil, to support and further her legacy, can make the check to: “Hedy O’Beil Art Education Foundation,” and mail it to:  P.O. Box 168, Wexford, Pa.  15090.

 

 e-mail address:  hedyobeilart@gmail.com     web-site:  www.hedyobeilart.com 

 

(In “Newsday” newspaper, Long Island, New York, & Legacy.com, 9/10/2022)

 

You are welcome to write your memories and feedback about Hedy O'Beil.

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ARTIST PROFILE

Hedy O’Beil is a New York City native. She attended art schools and studied with several renowned artists, including Reuben Tam at the Brooklyn Museum Art School. She attended the Art Students League in New York City (where Georgia O'Keefe and Jackson Pollock had studied) with Ernest Fiene and Harry Sternberg.  She later received her B.S. from Empire State College and a M.A. from Goddard College in Vermont.

Education:

1978 M.A., Goddard College, Montpelier, Vermont

1975 B.S., Empire State College, Saratoga Springs, NY

1962-64 Brooklyn Museum Art School, NY, with Reuben Tam

1959-61 Westbury Art School, NY, with Harry Sternberg

1958 Skowhegan School of Art, Maine 

1957-59 Art Students League, NY, with Ernest Fiene, Harry Sternberg

1949-50 Traphagen School of Art, NYC.

Hedy O’Beil’s paintings can best be described as gestural abstraction and geometric, and are unique in the use of her signature palette that makes adroit use of rich pinks, blues, and yellows layered in perfect harmony with ethereal grays and translucent whites. Her work is a study in the tension between control and unbridled exuberance as if watching an improvised jazz masterpiece unfold before your eyes. In addition to her painting, O’Beil was an active contributor to the New York City area art scene, giving lectures, art tours and writing reviews for several art publications.

Some of the artists that influenced her include: Georgia O'Keefe, Willem De Kooning, 

     Patrick Henry Bruce, Mark Rothko, 

  Louise Nevelson, Philip Guston, Franz Kline,      and Jackson Pollock. 

She has an extensive exhibition record, of about 70 gallery shows, solo and group, and her work is held in several collections, including the Library of Congress. O’Beil’s work has been recognized with many awards and honors, and has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including two Pollock-Krasner Foundation grants, The American Academy of Arts and Letters, the American Society of Contemporary Art, the Florsheim Art Fund, and the Reger Foundation.

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