AboutHackelBury Fine Art is delighted to present a solo exhibition of cyanotypes by contemporary German artist Katia Liebmann. A graduate of the Royal College of Art and Citibank Photography Prize nominee, Liebmann first gained critical acclaim for her pinhole camera series Gotham City, which was acquired by the Saatchi Collection.
The two series exhibited here document significant places and states for Liebmann, both physically and metaphorically. The works featured in Journey and Houses, Berlin serve as portraits of the artist's personal state of being, conveying a journey not only within urban and rural landscape, but also between past and present.
The five images from the series Houses belong to an ongoing project on cities, starting with the city of Berlin, where Liebmann has previously lived, but now merely passes through. Journey, a series composed of 14 images, records Liebmann's train journey across the flat, even landscape of East Frisia, her current home, to the very end of Germany as it borders Holland. Although the specific places Liebmann chooses to photograph are central to her own personal history, she does not consider them as intrinsic to understanding the work. Her primary concern is not with recording a specific place or time, but rather to capture our experience of the constant flux of time and space, as we pass through, and as it passes us by. We are suspended in the space between departure and destination, observing the transformations and variations of life âoutside'.
Liebmann describes herself as a âpainterly soul', citing Rembrandt, Turner, Poussin, and Titian as her inspiration, rather than any contemporary school of German photography. On a quest for beauty and harmony, seeking order from chaos, her images are characterised by a softness and longing which she likens to German Romanticism. The blue tone of the cyanotype prints on textured etching paper enhances the romance of the images; heavy raindrops are blotted onto the hazy scenes outside and shadowy trees float against vast stone facades. Liebmann's use of this early photographic technique is not a sentimental choice however; for her it simply presents the best means to portray the ephemerality of time and existence.