Born in Brooklyn in 1921, Leiber began his artistic career during World War II while stationed in Budapest, Hungary. He studied at the Royal Academy of Art in Budapest and, after the war, took up printmaking and painting at the Art Students League of New York. He later studied engraving with Gabor Peterdi at the Brooklyn Museum Art School.
Leiber's influences, rooted in abstract expressionism, include Picasso, Braque, Matisse and Bonnard. In the words of Ruth Appelhof, director of Guild Hall in East Hampton, Gerson Leiber is "one of a pantheon of outstanding 20th Century artists who has explored styles, even movements, with the dexterity of a gifted, extremely self-confident person always expressing his own aesthetic at the core of his work."
Leiber has had dozens of solo exhibitions in the United States and Israel and his work is represented in more than 50 museum collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum, National Gallery of Art, Boston Museum of Fine Art and the Yale University Art Gallery, among many others. He has received numerous awards and honors, including the National Academy of Design's Benjamin Altman Prize for the Figure, The Ralph Fabri Medal of Merit, the Museum of Fine Arts Purchase Award and the President's Award.