03.06.05 - 12.07.05

Robert Lebeck | Preussisch Blau


Robert Lebeck. Prussian Blue. Photographs

By Hans-Michael Koetzle

He has just turned 75, and he follows a new passion. With his new Leica Digilux he wanders through Berlin and takes photographs of the so called "Blue Hour". He does not have to be introduced as Robert Lebeck, born on the 21st of March 1929 in Berlin, since he is recognised to be one of the most well known photographers of post war and photojournalism. It was always important to him not to make art, but to provide those who where absent from the scene with essential information. Responding to a question about his identity and profession he simply answered: "I am just a plain journalist". One of his maxims was strictly adhering to, before he left the STERN, end of the 90ies., which means that his pictures are perceived to be aesthetically good built and well formed pictures. One thinks about his great portrait of Konrad Adenauer, who's hard expression on his face didn't expect to be the norm of genres, but stresses all the more the wits in his eyes. To take photographs means breaking rules. Who is reminded of Robert Lebeck knows him as a man of the press and as a pioneer of classical black and white photography.… That he is into "ART" now doesn't bother anybody, but himself. I would have declared myself as mad, if somebody five years ago would have told me that I would make such photos nowadays." Everything began with a present for Christmas in 2002 where his wife Cordula gave him for a present a Digilux Camera. Berlin for the "Blue Hour" one could portrait a cycles that arose from day to night. Lebeck takes photos in a standing or walking position, preferably on deck of a double Decker or through the rainy windows of a bus. One gets the reflexes that underline his work of the traditional old school of seeing. "One sees much more than if you just stroll around." For him it means to get back in touch with his home town, we may also present him more as an artist. At this exciting turning point between history and future, which so much characterises the new Berlin. Recent critics have regarded his work very positively, which not only encouraged him but made him to continue his work and go public with it.