atelier andreas peter

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Andreas Peter    Portrait of a Berlin Artist

by Annett Krause,   September 2005

Translation into English: Christiane Hergert and Ilene Winckler

Andreas Peter was born in Ludwigsfelde in 1955, but his aptitude for painting developed in the surrounding climate of the socialist art industry of the German Democratic Republic. He was denied the opportunity of  formal art studies at an academy, which might have otherwise enabled him to attain public recognition and have permitted him to dedicate himself fully to his artistic endeavors. In addition, Andreas Peter viewed the didactic acquisition of cultural principles and indeed, the undertaking of the  teaching of art, very critically. He studied drawing and participated in several various painters circles, yet remained unsatisfied with what these artistic groups had to offer. In any event, there was very little time to spare outside of his employment activities as a certified aircraft mechanic, and later as certified engine metal worker, dispatcher and heating engineer. Hence, taking time for his freelance painting activity was virtually impossible until 1989.

During the first few years after reunification,  Peter was able, for the first time, to freely and intensively concentrate on his painting. As early as 1992, after having moved back to Berlin, he began to participate in a number of exhibitions and by doing so, demonstrate his true professional calling to interested spectators. He made the acquaintance of artist Chomansur Usto from Uzbekistan in 1994, someone who recognized Peterīs artistic ambitions and thus became a key figure in his artistic development. Having dedicated himself primarily to the themes of man himself and nature prior to 1989, he now began to consciously integrate societal change and the new social system in reunified Germany, into his work. Since then,

the artist has dealt mainly with socially marginalized groups. In this way, he actually helped them to form a lobby for themselves.


 For example, the painting titled “Winter in front of  KaDeWe”€ dated 1996, is an emotionally charged presentation of a manīs impoverished state in picture form: the motif, a man wrapped up in a carpet, begging, directly in front of the consumerīs shopping temple in downtown Berlin. The very fact that this is no fictitous location,  not a noplaceī where this beggar stands, is demonstrated mainly by means of its title. There is no clear definition of space in the picture. The spectator, therefore, sees himself juxtaposed with the sole, centrally placed figure of the beggar, who is nearly forced to his knees by the weight of the protective carpet. The contrast between poverty and wealth, which might have offered a background feature, seem to interest the artist less than the manīs fate which has cut deeply into his own heart. The painterīs rendition depicts the literal perception of one manīs burden and the resulting isolation. Yet love of life and the beauty of life have not disappeared from Peterīs pictorial impressions.


In “Pillauer Strasse”€ (2002), he portrays himself exemplarily in regard to the painterīs viewpoint of  art historical form and content.

The Drei Grazien” (Three Graces) appear in the here and now of a Berlin street setting, as if  they are taken for granted. The artistīs use of spacial concept and reduced palette of color demonstrate a growing artistic confidence and technique. If the impression his work made before 2002 showed reservation regarding the urgency of color choice and application, then today, they portray determination and certainty by using a high degree of color satiation and by challenging color values all the more. His characteristic style has matured, his brush stroke is decisive. His interest in and method of dealing with light contrast have peaked in his recent paintings, which he has devoted to night scenes. They have an overwhelmingly expressive power. Peter works by and from his memory. Occasionally he uses  on-site sketches as a memory aid for composition and light design, however, his approach at the canvas is not based primarily on realistic presentation. The most important and valuable task to him by far, is revealing the unique and non-interchangeable features of a person or a situation. In this way, Peter orients himself towards or reflects upon the representative directions of Impressionism and Expressionism in order to form his individual visual vocabulary.

Andreas Peter is, in spite of all of the seriousness and discipline which he has invested in his exclusively free-lance work since 2002, a man with a great sense of humor. Humor benefits both sides  the spectator as well as the artist .  With this in mind, as Peter puts it, one can address particularly critical subject matter, as that of marginal social groups among other things, an approach which helps remove the usual hesitancy towards unpleasant discourse. This applies only inasmuch as dealings with thematic, topic-related clarification. In relation to  isues of technique, Peters accepts no compromises. Facing the canvas, there is a dominating uncompromising radical attitude toward himself an artist. Regarding the demands which Andreas Peters makes on art and himself, he is an exceptionally rare painter and observer of our times. His paintings are a critical documentation of the world in which we live.