After the success of Arcadia Contemporary‘s Drawn to Greatness Gallery Opening, we were ecstatic to learn that one of our favorite artists, Malcolm T. Liepke was to be featured next at Arcadia! His Solo Show Gallery Opening was held on Saturday, October 22 from 6pm – 9pm at Arcadia’s new Culver City Town Plaza location. My boss, Linda Wehrli was lucky enough to purchase his book for the school, and had him autograph it. Can’t wait to see it!

Linda Wehrli with Malcolm Liepke

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How did we come to learn about artist Malcolm T. Liepke?
Here’s the back story.

Linda Wehrli first discovered Arcadia Contemporary at the L.A. Art Show back in January 2011. At the time, Arcadia was located in New York. She was smitten by their collection of masterful Contemporary Realism. Each year she would journey to the L.A. Convention Center just to visit their booth.

One year, Arcadia included a few remarkable works by a Malcolm Liepke. Linda hadn’t heard of him before. “His palette and skin tones were mesmerizing. I kept coming back to view his works during the show”, she exclaimed. “Each year, when I would visit Arcadia’s booth, I would make a point to find more of Liepke’s work, while urging owner, Steve Diamont to consider moving Arcadia Contemporary to the West Coast”. Linda’s dream came true this year: Arcadia Contemporary is now ensconced in downtown Culver City!

Linda’s fondness for artist Edward Hopper‘s palette is exactly what attracted her to Leipke’s work.

"Morning Sun", Edward Hopper 1952

“Morning Sun”, Edward Hopper 1952

“Liepke’s figurative paintings use an architectural palette reminiscent of Hopper. Notice the greens in the skin tone”, she points out.

Malcolm Liepke PortraitMalcolm Liepke, Arcadia Contemporary, Pastimes

A sense of sadness is embedded in Liepke’s paintings, similar to Hopper’s works. However, Liepke employs bold, thick brushstrokes, a strikingly different approach than Hopper’s.

Malcolm T. Liepke Painting

While waiting for the artist to autograph her book, Linda asked Leipke what his favorite brands of paint and brushes were. He replied animatedly, “The cheapest I can get!” He admitted unabashedly that he forgets to clean his brushes and usually just throws them out when they are no longer useful. He explained that since his painting style requires thick paint applications, purchasing the most expensive brands of paint simply proved impractical. Good to know! His adoring fans murmured in agreement that his talent is certainly not dependent upon expensive brushes and paint!

Malcolm T. Liepke Gallery Opening

Linda is also obsessed with Liepke’s skill in rendering hands and feet. Here are some of her favorite images from the show.

Malcolm T. Liepke PaintingMalcolm T. Liepke PaintingMalcolm T. Liepke PaintingMalcolm T. Liepke Painting

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I wanted to learn about the artist’s background to understand more about him. Liepke was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota and studied at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, but dropped out after a year and a half. He moved to New York and began studying the 19th century master painters John Singer Sargent, Edgar Degas, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Édouard Vuillard.

Largely self-taught Liepke paints from photographs as well as models and works in a wet-on-wet technique in which layers of oil paint are built up without drying in between. This technique is a nod to the 19th century master painters, from his own unique 21st century viewpoint.

At his gallery opening, Liepke mentioned that he taught art for a year in New York. When she heard this, Linda asked him if he would consider a guest lecture at her studio. He said yes and asked her to contact him through the gallery. Very exciting! Stay tuned for more on this.

Liepke is currently based in New York, New York. His exhibitions have been sold out from his very first show in 1986. From all over the world, Liepke’s artwork continues to flourish. Maybe someday he’ll relocate to the West Coast. If he does, we certainly will blog about it!

The exhibition will be on display now through November 9. Don’t feel like battling freeways? Here is a link to the complete online catalogue. Be sure to check it out!

Art Scene covers eclectic art events and locales.
If you enjoyed this story, please feel free to share on your favorite social media to get the word out about this great event! Thank you for your support.

Jessica Lee Sanders is a fine artist and office manager at Pastimes for a Lifetime Art and Piano School, Valley Glen, CA (near Sherman Oaks).

If you are interested in developing your artistic talent professionally and building a portfolio of works for sale, call 818.766.0614 or email the school to set up a free consultation with instructor/founder, Linda Wehrli.

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