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ROLAND PLETERSKI. drawn by the light

12.06.2007 - 29.07.2007


With the retrospective drawn by the light, WestLicht. Showplace for Photography is presenting the first extensive show of Roland Pleterski’s works from the 12th of June till the 29th of July 2007. The main emphasis is given to the images made during Pleterski’s most important period in America (1953-1966). Portraits (amongst others of Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Erika Pluhar, Julie Andrews, Rosemary Harris, Jason Robards, Ted Croner, Paul Muni, Irving Penn and Lisa Fonssagrives), can be seen along with fashion and nudes, New York cityscapes but also photographs of Cuba before the revolution. The 150 exhibited vintage prints are part of the Pleterski estate, which has been systematically researched and conserved and belongs to the WestLicht collection. The solo exhibition will cast a light onto a previously ignored aspect of the work of this Austrian photographer of international standing and thus close a gap in Austrian photographic history.

Roland Pleterski (1920 - 2000), an Austrian who was for years a New Yorker by choice, was a photographer who sought glamour. Trained as a fashion artist and heeding the call of photography rather late, Peterski went to New York at the beginning of the 1950’s, drawn by the radiance of the American metropolis. There he became Irving Penn’s assistant. Pleterski’s elegant, statically-staged fashion and portrait photographs of contemporaries, known through Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour and other high end fashion magazines, are unmistakeably influenced by the work of the great photographer and friend. Despite an oeuvre that during his lifetime became increasingly multi-layered – both thematically and stylistically and which included cityscapes, travel reports and later, more and more nude photography – Pleterski’s pictorial world remained dominated by images of ‘glamorous people and places’.

WestLicht would like to thank Johannes Faber for his support and expertise. 

The bilingual book, Roland Pleterski. drawn by the light, consisting of an extensive photographic section with around 200 works and an article by Gerald Piffl accompanies this exhibition (Peter Coeln (ed.) WestLicht | Christian Brandstätter Verlag).

Monograph/ Peter Coeln - 1. Edition.. - Wien : Brandstätter, Christian, Verlagsgesellschaft, 2007. - 216 p. : 200 coloured ill., 240 mm x 297 mm, ISBN 978-3-85033-101-2, EUR 34.90.-

Available in the WestLicht-Bookshop during the opening hours and by order via Email: bookshop(at) or Fax: +43 (1) 523 13 08

Roland Pleterski: Ricki VanDusen, model. New York 1957 © WestLicht
Roland Pleterski: Doris Cooper, model. New York 1950er © WestLicht
Roland Pleterski: Friedensreich Hundertwasser, artist. Venice 1964© WestLicht
Roland Pleterski: New York c. 1955 © WestLicht
Roland Pleterski: Central Park. New York 1955 © WestLicht
Roland Pleterski: Erika Pluhar, actress. Zell am Ziller 1952 © WestLicht
Roland Pleterski: Brigitte King. New York c. 1959 © WestLicht
Roland Pleterski: Merle, model. New York c. 1959 © WestLicht
Roland Pleterski: Carol Kinross, model. New York 1956 © WestLicht