Brian Lipperd’s exquisite images of drapery pay homage to one of painting’s most revered traditions. Reproducing the subtle textures and complex folds found in textiles has long been considered a technical feat; a way for painters to demonstrate mastery of their craft and for students to prove their artistic mettle. In the works of celebrated artists from Rubens to Renoir, fabric is vital subject matter. Its twists and creases activate the composition, it acts as a source of pattern and color, and, in many cases, it creates an unmistakably erotic charge.
As Lipperd himself has remarked, “There is something very sensual and mysterious about the folding and draping of fabric.” This, of course, is due to the fact that the presence of cloth (and particularly hanging or draped cloth) typically signifies that something – a body, a stage set, a view – is being concealed. We feel something is about to emerge, and our curiosity is naturally and powerfully piqued.
Lipperd’s Desire to “create simple yet elegant forms” is a deceptively easy proposition. His canvases, while they are tributes to the paintings and philosophies of old masters, strongly recall modernism’s sublime geometry and the often contemplative nature of color field abstraction. His poetic titles (Midnight Sun, Violet Sky, Red Sunset) are equally timeless. They augment the atmospheric quality of his images, exciting our imaginations and drawing our minds irresistibly in.
– Katherine Satorius