The world premiere of the documentary, “Like Notes of Music: Christian Peltenburg-Brechneff: The Landscape Painter” will be held on Thursday, Sept. 8, at 5:30 p.m. at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, ‘The Kate,’ at 300 Main St., Old Saybrook.
The film is a stunning visual portrait of the landscape painter, who now lives in Hadlyme, Conn. with his husband — another artist — Tim Lovejoy. Narrated by Brechneff in his extraordinarily engaging voice, the film offers an intimate insight into both the ‘external’ artist one meets at, say, a reception and the powerful inner forces that have been driving him to paint all his life.
Born in Africa, raised in the Swiss Alps, educated in England and part-time resident on the Greek island of Sifnos for many years, Brechneff is a fascinating subject who not only speaks several languages but also has lived in a string of beautiful locations. Apart from those already listed, add New York City, where Brechneff still has a studio, and Basel, Switzerland, where he exhibits regularly. Escaping the rigors and stresses of city life, Brechneff also spends a few months every year on an island in the Caribbean.
The film takes Brechneff to all his former homes while the artist discusses his style — both in terms of his painting and his life. Regarding his painting, words and phrases that have been used to describe his style are ‘intense’, ‘boundless’, ‘limitless’, and ‘an amorphous infinity’, while simultaneously, Brechneff’s technical abilities are always applauded.
On the subject of his lifestyle, Brechneff notes that one of the few conditions he imposed on the film’s director was that it included footage of his wedding to Lovejoy. Brechneff talks frankly and openly about his more than 37-year-relationship with Lovejoy and discusses the issue of homosexuality with a refreshing honesty.
Brechneff’s paintings appear in public and private collections worldwide including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Greece, and the Orange County Museum, Newport Beach, California. He has won numerous awards, including the Swiss Federal Government Scholarship.
In conjunction with the screening, a selection of Brechneff’s oil paintings will be shown from 6:45 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 8 at The Cooley Gallery, 25 Lyme Street,Old Lyme, where a reception will be held after the movie.
Tickets for the screening and reception at $40 are available at this link or by calling ‘The Kate,’ at 877.503.1286.
The premiere will benefit the Center for Arts Programming at the University of New Haven’s Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts.
Editor’s Note: Brechneff is also the author of ‘The Greek House, The story of a painter’s love affair with the island of Sifnos’ with Tim Lovejoy and published in 2013 by Farrar Straus and Giroux, New York.