Born 1989, St. Paul, MN
Lives and works in Brooklyn, NY


2011    BFA, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
2009   Ox-Bow School of Art, Saugatuck, MI

Solo Exhibitions

Thinking Creatively with Pictures, Clifton Benevento, New York, NY

Michael Jon Gallery, Miami
Arcades & Garlands, East Hampton Shed, East Hampton, NY
Freeze Tag, Levy Delval, Brussels, BE

The Drama of Leisure, Devening Projects + Editions, Chicago, IL GROUP

Group Exhibitions

Salon 57, 247365, New York, NY

Windoes, The Composing Rooms, Berlin, DE
E. 1027, Joe Sheftel Gallery, New York, NY
There is no Fact of the Matter as to Whether or not P, 247365, New York, NY
Drawings | Fridges, Green Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA
Maker’s Mark, Regina Rex, New York, NY
SPEARS, Loyal Gallery, Stockholm, SE
Rock Steady, Future Gallery, Berlin, DE
Box Lunch, Skylab Gallery, Columbus, OH
A Friend Is Only A Human Body, Nicelle Beauchene Gallery, New York, NY
Oysters with Lemon, Ventana244, Brooklyn, NY

24/7, organized by Alex Bacon and Harrison Tenzer, Monte Carlo Miami Beach, Miami, FL
Volatile, Galeri Jacob Bjorn, Aarhus, DE
Rocket Run: New Abstraction From Chicago, Nebraska Wesleyan University Elder Gallery, Lincoln, NE
Ducks, Greenpoint Terminal Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Two Rocks Don’t Make A Duck, LVL3 Gallery, Chicago, IL

Minku, Are You Here? Springsteen Gallery, Baltimore, MD
2 of a kind (with Jacob Goudreault), LVL3, Chicago, IL
SHIT IS REAL, Devening Projects, Chicago, IL

Quiet Echo on Loud Wind, ACRE Projects, Chicago, IL
Did You See Heaven: WYSIWYG, peregrineprogram, Chicago, IL
Robots Will Keep Us As Pets, Alderman Exhibitions, Chicago, IL
The Empty Vessel, Manifest Exhibitions, Chicago, IL
MRM Curates #3, MermHaus, Portland, OR
the big stink moves like a moth towards the light, Hungryman Gallery, Chicago, IL

Paper Chasers, Nudashank, Baltimore, MD 2010
AWOL, Pentagon Gallery, Chicago, IL


“Sofia Leiby ‘ Thinking Creatively With Pictures,'” Time Out New York, February 2

Kate Messinger, “Art Basel Artist of the Day: Sofia Leiby, “ Paper Mag, December 6
“18 Artists To Watch in 2016,” Blouin Artinfo, December 14
Sofia Leiby and Jaako Pallasvuo, “Live Action Role Painting”

“An Active Line,” Off-White Press, New York, NY Ed. 50, 49p
Sarah Thibault, “Untitled. Miami,” SFAQ, December 4
Dana Bassett, “Local Boutique Sells Studio Floor Scraps; Calls it Art, ” What’s the T? Edition 31, May 27
“Sofia Leiby’s Nostalgia for the Future,” Inside/Within, March 16t
“Sofia Leiby,” DUST Magazine Online, January 14
Alan Pocaro, “Sofia Leiby: The Drama of Leisure at Devening Projects” Daily Serving, January 15
Steve Ruiz, “Review: Sofia Leiby/Devening Projects,” Newcity, January 7

Jason Foumberg, “5 Questions for Painter Sofia Leiby,” Chicago Magazine Online, December 13
Annette LePique, “Artist/As Writer/As Critic: An interview with Jason Lazarus and Sofia Leiby of Chicago Artist Writers,” Dilettante Journal: New Harmony Vol. 1, Chicago, IL, 184p.
“Sofia Leiby,” NU-MODE ́ Magazine, Issue 8: The New York Issue.

Sofia Leiby, “Soft Populism & Pop Democracy in the Age of Crowd Sourcing: Investigating Hierarchy in Horizontally-Structured Mega-exhibitions,” WOW HUH
Pat Elifritz, “Review: 24 Hrs/25 Days at New Capital,” Newcity, December 27
Sofia Leiby, “Post-Internet Painting and the death of Affect,” Poor Journal

Clifton Benevento is pleased to present “Thinking Creatively With Pictures”, a solo exhibition of paintings and a video by New York based artist Sofia Leiby. In her newest body of work, Leiby mines the rich history of “projective drawing tests”, graphic assessments originating in Gestalt psychology, to self-reflexively address the relationship between mark-making and subjectivity.

Leiby’s research in graphology led her to the field of psychometrics, or the theory and techniques of psychological assessment, and the history of the graphic test. Used in psychology, these tests present graphic stimuli usually organized in a grid or box that the test-taker responds to with a drawing and a title. The test-taker is then analyzed based on her drawing performance, according to criteria such as drawing time, the order of the squares drawn, refusing to draw, the size and content of the drawings, crossing of the borders of the squares, etc. (artistic ability is not usually considered). Upon completion, the psychoanalyst can deduce personality and diagnose possible psychological disorders. Such criteria is recognized as subjective but still ‘scored’ according to a very particular set of rules. Similar tests are also used to measure gender-role identification, creativity and imagination in corporate hiring and even as a prerequisite exam to join the Italian Armed Forces (The Wartegg Test). The Torrance Test for Creative Thinking, which includes graphic completion components, is widely used today to identify gifted children across the U.S, although there is still a lack of research surrounding most graphic completion tests.

Leiby has indexed the graphic “stimuli” from The Wartegg Test (Eugene Wartegg, 1939), The Medallion Test (W.N. de Vletter, 1942), the Torrance Test for Creative Thinking (Ellis Paul Torrance, 1958), The Test for Creative Thinking-Drawing Production (Urban & Jellen, 1995), the Franck Drawing Completion Test (Franck & Rosen, 1949), and other related exams as well as completed specimens. Using silkscreen, she collages these elements that serve as the compositional framework for abstract paintings both colorful and monochromatic.  A new video, ‘How to Improve Your Handwriting’ uses humor to underscore the connection between personality and gesture.

Upon meeting artists Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee in the 1920s, Wartegg took inspiration from Kandinsky’s graphic theories in ‘Point and Line to Plane’ when developing the stimuli of his own graphic test.   In observing parallels between the field of psychometrics, art theory and criticism, Leiby brings the graphic marks relegated to psychoanalysis full circle back to the realm of fine art; working within her own test-taking environment, Leiby’s paintings function as self-assessments of the personality and creativity of the artist.

Sofia Leiby (b. St. Paul, MN, 1989) is an artist based in New York. She graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2011. Recent solo exhibitions include Levy Delval (Brussels) East Hampton Shed (East Hampton, NY) and Michael Jon Gallery (Miami) in 2015, and Devening Projects (Chicago) in 2013. Group exhibitions include 247365 (NYC), Joe Sheftel (NYC), Nicelle Beauchene Gallery (NYC), Loyal Gallery (Stockholm) and Future Gallery (Berlin) in 2015, and Galerie Jacob Bjorn (Aarhus, Denmark), LVL3 Gallery (Chicago), and Circuit12 Contemporary (Dallas, TX) in 2014.   She also has contributed criticism to, Bad at Sports, and WOW HUH, among others.

The exhibition runs from January 16 – February 27, 2016; opening reception is Saturday, January 16th from 5-7pm. The gallery is located at 515 Broadway, New York, NY.  Tue-Sat, 11am – 6pm.  For more information please contact Michael at

“Sofia Leiby ‘ Thinking Creatively With Pictures'”. Time Out New York. February 2, 2016.