China, 2009


CHINA, 2009

Laurie Lambrecht

September 20 - November 3, 2012

These places are something I am curious about - to be experienced. A lot of these pictures have to do with relationships formed in my mind and known from art history or painting from China... At the same time, there were unexpected things, aspects that provided an intimate relationship with my experience of these places.
- Laurie Lambrecht on China, 2009, (Roy Lichtenstein in His Studio, p. 124)

Rick Wester Fine Art opens the fall season with a survey of photographs by Laurie Lambrecht created in China in 2009. For those who equate Ms. Lambrecht with her well known artists' portrait studies only, these Asian works will be a revelation. While abroad, Ms. Lambrecht traveled to locales particularly suited to her, with a vision long attuned to landscape, wherever she found herself. Seasonal in nature, from 2004 to 2008 Ms. Lambrecht photographed at the edge of Lake Zurich, Switzerland, resulting in the autumnal Lake Trees, a series of images redolent of an Eastern approach, despite her having never traveled there prior. Inspired by the first comprehensive exhibition of paintings by the Chinese painter Luo Ping (1733 - 1799) fortuitously opening at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that October, she found an affinity with the sparse, reductive and graphically bold nature of the painter's portrayal of pictorial space. China, 2009 is the result of a Western photographer's lifelong devotion to nature and art and her distinct talent for melding her own eye with history.

The works included in the exhibition build upon the subtlety of Lake Trees by incorporating broad swaths of intense color, like the iconic red lacquer associated with Chinese architecture and decorative arts, as in Imperial Palace (#1) or emphasizing further the delicate calligraphy of nature with the grays, greens and pale mauve of petals floating in Hangzhou (#2). Imperial Palace (#2 & #3) is a dynamic diptych describing complex intertwining branches set against walls of the Palace, seemingly parts of an ancient continuum of bark and buds. The prints range in size from 17 x 22 inches to 38 x 54 inches in editions of 12 for the smaller sizes and 6 for the largest.

Of her experience photographing in China, Ms. Lambrecht also states, "...the thousands of years of visual artistry and poetry that preceded these scenes. I wanted to feel that landscape for myself that others had interpreted for eons, with some sense of feel for a newer time frame. How we perceive time is a real cultural difference." While Ms. Lambrecht is best known for her extended portraits of artists, particularly her work with Roy Lichtenstein in the early 1990s (Roy Lichtenstein in His Studio, The Monacelli Press, 2011) she has applied the same dedication to her landscape work for over 25 years.

All works © Laurie Lambrecht.