Particle-Wave Photographs by Leslie Parke

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  • lesliePARKE

  • introduction by Robert Wolterstorff notes by Leslie Parke

    PARTICLE / WAVEphotographs by lesliePARKE

  • Book design by Carol Jessop

    ISBN 978-1-365-25129-0

    Copyright 2016 Leslie Parke

    All rights reserved



    Robert Wolterstorff

    Benington MuseumBennington, Vermont

    (Cover) Particle Wave, 34 inches x 52 inches, Archival Inkjet, 2016

  • For years I used photography as an aid to my painting. Then I had two studio visits back to back, with Robert Wolter-storff, director of the Bennington Museum, and Greg DeLuca of 3 Pears Gallery in Dorset, Vermont. Both asked me why I didnt print my photographs. In each case my immediate response was, Im a painter. The seed was planted, and over the next years I upgraded my equipment, and did the things one has to do, if the photograph is going to be the final piece and not just a means to a non-photographic end. My approach remains largely that of a painter. I want the photograph to look like a painting and be responded to as a painting. I looked at archival inkjet printers as a new painting medium. There are things they can do, that you cannot do in paint and colors that have a kind of luminosity you dont always find in oils. I was interested in the ways ink reacted to the watercolor-like paper, and how one can achieve a density in the black that is not always possible in paint. With this approach to photography, I knew that I needed to do my prints with someone who understood that basically I was painting with a camera. Michael Williams has been making paintings on his computer for years, and he has the equipment to create large-scale prints. I have known Michael since he first came Bennington in the 1970s from St. Martins School of Art, at the recommendation of Anthony Caro. Our visual language is the same. Michael understands what I am trying to do, and I have come to rely on his reaction to my work. When he says, It looks too much like a photograph, I know its a dud. Just to be clear, these are all unadulterated photographs. The images are not created in photoshop. When I photo-graphed wrapped cargo, I liked the fact that the surface changed with the light and weather, that it reflected what was around it. The local color of the object was almost never the color that you saw. These surfaces worked like Monets pond, reflecting the atmosphere around it. This Spring when I was a resident at A.I.R. Vallauris in the south of France, I wasnt sure that I would find the quali-ties I now sought for my photographic prints. The light was glaringly bright. Vallauris had seen better days. Once the center of ceramic production, made famous by Picasso, it is now almost devoid of ceramicists. The businesses that once catered to tourists are largely empty; the windows are smeared with white to obscure the interior of the stores. The surface of the windows are covered with bits of colored paper and tape, where one event poster after the next is put up and torn down. These store windows appeared to me as found paintings -- a Kandinsky on glass, but with incredibly ambiguous space, leaving the viewer confused as to where he stands in relation to the object. Since going to France, my understanding of what I want to do with my photographs has become clearer even as it becomes more complex. It is like exploring the ideas of physics. I undo what it is that we understand about something. Is it a painting or a photograph, is it something real or something abstract, are we looking through something, at something, or at something reflected. I think that the more times I am able to multiply these questions, the more interesting things become. My feeling is that this is evocative of the particle/wave conundrum, whereby what something is, is altered by being observed.

    Leslie Parke

    Jolly 25, 34 inches x 22.5 inches, Archival Inkjet, 2015

  • Smeared Window, 34 inches x 26.5 inches, Archival Inkjet, 2016

  • Golf Juan 1, 22.5 inches x 34 inches, Archival Inkjet, 2016

  • Florida Boatyard, 34 inches x 22.5 inches, Archival Inkjet, 2016

  • Stone Surface, 34 inches x 34 inches, Archival Inkjet, 2014(Previous page) High Road, 34 inches x 25.5 inches, Archival Inkjet, 2016

  • Reach, 25.5 inches x 34 inches, Archival Inkjet, 2014

  • Stacked, 25.5 inches x 34 inches, Archival Inkjet, 2015

  • Trace, 34 inches x 22.5 inches, Archival Inkjet, 2016

  • Organics, 22.75 inches x 34 inches, Archival Inkjet, 2015

  • Isle of Lamb, 34 inches x 28 inches, Archival Inkjet, 2015

  • Tiger by the Tail, 34 inches x 22.5 inches, Archival Inkjet, 2016(Previous page) Mountain Flow, 22.75 inches x 34 inches, Archival Inkjet, 2015

  • Maine Landscape Reflected, 23 inches x 34 inches, Archival Inkjet, 2015

  • Tutti Fruiti, 34 inches x 22.5 inches, Archival Inkjet, 2015

  • Blue Column, 34 inches x 25.5 inches, Archival Inkjet, 2015

  • The View from Here, 25.5 inches x 34 inches, Archival Inkjet, 2014

  • Leslie Parke, a painter from upstate New York, is a recipient of the Esther and Adolph Gottlieb Grant for Individual Support, the Lila Wallace-Readers Digest grant as artist-in-residence at the Claude Monet Foundation in Giverny, France, and the George Sugarman Foundation Grant, among others. Her exhibits include the Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, Massachusetts; the Museum of the Southwest, Midland, Texas; the Fernbank Museum, Atlanta, Georgia; the Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and the Museo de Arte Moderno in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Parke has a BA and MA from Bennington College. Her work is in numerous corporate and private collections. Her paintings are currently on exhibit in Washington, D.C., Houston, Texas, and Boston, Massachusetts.