To be the director of a photography gallery in today’s modern world is to be besieged by hundreds of electronic portfolios [ as well as postcards that direct to a website of electronic images] . The often perfectly competent work is often indistinguishable or just not very interesting. That I was immediately so taken by the electronically transmitted work of Peter Liepke, speaks of the craft, power and beauty of his imagery. He is a great photographer as well as a master of two terribly difficult and painstaking processes: platinum/palladium and gum bichromate printing. If called for in a particular image, his real tour de force is the combination of both processes in one image! Comparatively few people still use either process, he may be one of a handful in the world who combine the two. It’s also amazing to me that the handcrafted nature of Peter’s work got through to me even through the medium of the computer.
Peter led a fairly conventional studio and commercial photographer’s life until recently. He has taken his formidable commercial photographic skills and knowledge honed over the last 20+ years and turned it toward creating a gorgeous body of fine art photography of staggering resonance and beauty. He pursues his imagery solely to uplift and inspire. His work stands out in stark opposition to our current “ADD” way of living today. We never seem to have the time to really stop and enjoy something of beauty for long. We get interrupted by a text message, cell phone call or e-mail and we are cut off from the beauty before us and move in a completely new direction. Peter takes his time, observes, waits and skillfully captures the fleeting moment with his 100 year old Graflex [the antithesis of today’s modern electronic camera that only requires aiming] . It’s quite startling to find out that none of Peter’s photographs are set up in advance, since the compositions are so perfectly framed and his captured moments so fleeting. In addition to his skill and patience in making the image we now add the time consuming nature of the gum or platinum [or both] process. And we are still not done yet with the complete work of art that Peter presents to us for our visual delight. Peter then crafts a completely handmade frame chosen and stained to complement the final image. Gallery 270 is so proud to present the outstanding work of Peter Liepke. You can certainly begin to appreciate his imagery here in our electronic gallery. Only by seeing a complete Peter Liepke work in person can the complementary and prodigious skill set he employs [ photographer, printmaker and woodworker] be appreciated.
Peter Liepke’s show “Cities, Dreams and Workers” opens at Gallery 270 in Westwood on April 16, 2009.
Gallery 270 / Westwood Hours: Monday-Friday 10-6, Thursday 10-9, Saturday 9-6 Phone: 201-664-4113
Gallery 270 / Englewood Hours: Monday-Friday 10-6, Thursday 10-7, Saturday 10-6 Phone: 201-871-4113