Internationally renowned, New York-based Luba Lukova is regarded as one of the most original image-makers working today. Whether by using an economy of line, color and text to pinpoint essential themes of humanity or to succinctly visualize social commentary, her work is undeniably powerful and thought-provoking.
In Lukova's art, less is more. More effect, more message, more expression; all while doing it with less. The graphic elements are bold with few fine details but the intent is clear. Her messages reflect the human condition, fundamental fairness, and justice. Yet while it is easy to focus solely on the messages of her provocative works, it is important to take a step back to appreciate the artistic merit in her simplicity. Her use of striking, metaphoric images gives the viewers art to not only appreciate visually but intellectually.
Lukova's work is included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Denver Art Museum; Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris; Hong Kong Heritage Museum; Centre de la Gravure et de l'Image imprimée, La Louvière, Belgium; the Library of Congress; and the World Bank, Washington, D.C. Her solo exhibitions include the Smithsonian Affiliate National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio; Jewish Museum Milwaukee; Museum of Design Atlanta; La MaMa Gallery, New York; The Art Institute of Boston; UNESCO, Paris; and DDD Gallery, Osaka, Japan.
Reflecting on complex social issues has been Lukova’s career-long focus because of her firmly held belief that art is central to human existence and that morality and creativity are aligned. In 2008 she released her Social Justice portfolio, addressing themes such as peace, censorship, immigration, ecology, hunger, and corruption. The twelve iconic images soon became a best-selling publication and requests for exhibits and reproductions in magazines, newspapers and books came from around the globe. The collection was included in the prestigious art exhibition at the first inauguration of President Obama in Washington D.C. and has been exhibited widely in the U.S. and internationally. More than a decade since its publication, the series is as relevant as ever and the artist continues to create new social commentary work. In her words, she has “plenty of topics to tackle in the future.”
Lukova has received commissions from Sony Music, Canon, The New York Times, Time, and Harvard University, among others. Her art graces the Verve Records CD box set Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington at the Cote D'Azur, nominated for a Grammy Award for best recording package design. She has collaborated with some of the visionaries of contemporary theater, creating stunning posters for the productions of Judith Malina and the Living Theatre, Ellen Stewart and La MaMa Theater, and Sir Peter Hall. The first theater poster she ever designed, There Is No Death for the Songs, is now included in the permanent collection of MoMA, New York. Lukova's many awards include the Grand Prix Savignac/World's Most Memorable Poster at the International Poster Salon in Paris; the Gold Pencil from The One Club in New York; Honor Laureate at the International Poster Exhibition in Fort Collins, Colorado; and a grant from the Reisman Foundation. She holds an honorary doctoral degree from The Art Institute of Boston.