Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The Printed Illuminations of Peter Baczek

Light and simple geometric shapes, flat planes of color, and clear, descriptive lines that clarify object from negative space. All of that aptly describes the work of Californian artist Peter Bacezk, but his work contains so much more than mere description.
Peter Baczek has been a fixture of the northern California art scene for many years. He has worked in Berkley, and now resides in Oakland where he operates a printshop/studio. Go find it. It will be worth your while for a visit to a contemporary master precisionist.
Baczek's subject is the urban setting, showing us the terrain of his neighborhood; where homes, small shops and factories coexist. The clear clean light of northern California is a strong speaking point of his prints. The sky is crisp with its clarity, and reminds us that pure light is transcendent, revealing as much what is before us as much as it is a spiritual component of what is mystical and unseen around us.
Baczek capably handles the description of places without human inhabitants, yet his compositions are not lonely places. There is a presence to the work that someone is around, but we have just missed them. Batheing the compositions in light gives us a warm, and cared for feeling, which is different than the descriptive, yet empty feeling of Edward Hopper's places, or the cool precision of Charles Sheeeler's nearly abstract industrial work.
Baczek is describing places that are compelling, which is a challenge for quiet and spare locations such as his. We want to walk around the buildings, knock on the door of the houses and see who's inside. There is a quiet in the air about them, too, which one often feels when visiting the American southwest. The light is so intense is can drain the energy out of you, but here the light is warm and friendly. His colors are restrained, but vibrant.
His mesmerizing subject matter of ordinary, everyday street corners and rooftops captures the viewer’s attention by the sheer simplicity of his compositions.This artist creates a spirituality through his simplicity, and a balance between the natural world and the one manmade. It is a delicate balance, but one Baczek handles with aplomb.
Baczek, b.1945-, joins the ranks of other American greats. He quiets our day with his subtly challenging compositions and brings us a sense of peace. Enjoy, my inked up friends and share his work among yourselves, and your friends.



Permanent Collections
Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY
California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, CA
Edinboro University, Edinboro, PA
Graphic Chemical and Ink Company, Villa Park, IL
Library of Congress, Washington, DC
Metropolitan Museum and Art Center, Coral Gables, FL
Oklahoma Art Center, Oklahoma City, OK
Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson, AZ
University of California, Davis, CA
University of North Dakota, Fargo, ND
























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