America That Never Was.


Fine Art Club is bringing the Gallery experience to the internet. Right now, they are featuring Rachel Libeskind.

The Ghosts of un-resolve weigh like heavy fog upon the quiet roads of the American landscape.

We can all feel it, the haunting of our countrysides, the blessed alleyways of our cities, the defunct industrial structures that echo with the vibrations of a parallel present, which really is the past.

It Was A Common Night is a cross section of this moment. It is a visual effort to articulate the shared nostalgia for something that never was, and the collective repression of what actually was. The past and future converge at a vanishing point that is impossible to see in the present. America evades us, like a cowboy in the night.

From The Creators Project:

It Was a Common Night, Rachel Libeskind’s ongoing exhibition at Fine Art Club, consists of a series of oil on paper works depicting scenes of an older America at night. Shadowy, horse-mounted figures, ominously lit houses, and hovering crows populate the works along with a stark title and date at the bottom, providing each work with a sense of formality and truthfulness that is ultimately farcical; these are fictional scenes, as interpreted by Libeskind.

“I find there is a pervasive myth about the ‘American Night’—this landscape where the pilgrims and the pioneers manifested their destiny, sleeping under nights, defeating the native people,” Libeskind tells The Creators Project. “This landscape has been sold to us many times, in childhood books, in spaghetti Westerns; the sweet cool air of the dark American night soothes us to sleep with a promise of tomorrow in which all our dreams await us.”

Yet Libeskind does not wish to promote this myth with her own form of fiction. Instead, she confronts a wrongful legacy head on: “To me, this really is a myth, a well constructed one—the American Night is deeply haunted. The American Night is where black men are brutally tortured and lynched, the American Night is where conscious or unconscious women are raped and left for dead,” elaborates Libeskind. “The dates and titles of the works in It was a Common Night are there to evoke historical moments—from the Revolutionary War, to the Civil War, through the terror of the Jim Crow era. Those dates are there to remind us that the American Night has been haunted since it was created.”

About Fine Art Club:

The platform operates in an artist-to-artist format, meaning that the previously featured artist decides whom Fine Art Club will show next. Previous exhibitions, along with accompanying studio visits and 20-question segments with the artist, remain archived on the platform for everlasting viewing, a facet that would be impossible to replicate in a traditional galley.


  1. rq says

    Damn, I can’t link through to see her other works in the series (don’t worry, this is a function of work computer!), but the one you have here is really striking -- she has a wonderful way with the emotions of haunting and a vague sense of disquiet; will be checking out more when I get home.

  2. says

    All of them are like that. The Night Horse and Night Riders are distinctly disturbing. My favourite is probably Night House:

  3. rq says

    Wow. Don’t suppose you can link up Night Horse and Night Riders here, too? :) You’ve made me curious.

  4. rq says

    The trees in Night Brigade look a lot like clawed hands. With blood on them.
    I’m really not sure how to feel about Night Horse, but I’m definitely feeling something.

  5. says

    I think, for me, there’s an uncertainty in Night Horse, a sense of a possible threat. A sense of being watched, stalked?

  6. rq says

    Maybe, with some apprehension mixed in. Or just waiting, but there’s a lot of tension. And expectation.

  7. says


    Maybe, with some apprehension mixed in. Or just waiting, but there’s a lot of tension. And expectation.

    All that. Yes.

  8. says

    Ice Swimmer @ 9:

    The Night Horse (which may even be a mare) sends a chill down my spine.

    Me too, but at the same time, I’m very drawn to it.

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