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Abstract Art : Peter Valentiner at "Old Mill" Gallery

1988-03-22 Abstrakte Kunst Peter Valentiner in Galerie Alte Muhle
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Schmallenberg. (RV) A guitar lies next to the easel, a pencil tip wanders over the white sheet of paper: it draws a circle for the sound opening of the guitar and strokes and dots for the strings. With this, the picture framework is finished, the painter puts the guitar aside and begins with the actual work: on his palette he mixes ever new colours and adds them to the framework in an areal, "rhythmic" order. Everything tangible and representational has been eradicated, the artist has used only the essentials of the guitar; he has abstracted it, an abstract work of art has emerged.

A sketchy recipe for abstract painting could look like this or something similar. The Schmallenberger Kunstverein (KV) is currently showing 18 works in the Alte Mühle gallery that the French artist Peter Valentiner has created on this basis. However, he would strongly object to the term "recipe": Abstract art, like modern art in general, rather breaks away from recipes and ties that restrict people in their freedom and individuality. For Valentiner, abstract painting is a game with colour and graphic forms, with optical and spatial effects.

This becomes clear, for example, in a three-metre-long and equally high collage on the top floor of the gallery: at first glance, a colourful jumble of coloured surfaces and torn-off, enlarged newspaper clippings. Only on closer inspection does a taut order become clear: bright coloured areas are interspersed with dark, pure colours, creating a colour-balanced picture and at the same time avoiding grandiose gaudiness. All the colours of the rainbow appear in the composition, which is reminiscent of a kaleidoscope: they thus become symbols of light.

The same applies to the design: angular and round forms are brought into a balanced relationship at every point. What is exemplary here is the way in which he has brought out spatial ideas in this two-dimensional composition with the help of the scrap of newspaper. Valentiner "First I unfolded the newspaper clippings so that they cast shadows. I then photographed them with these shadow effects and incorporated the photographs into the work".

At the opening of the exhibition, Manfred Richter described the artist, who was born in Copenhagen in 1941, as "a proven representative of the European avant-garde": in 1971 he was a prize-winner at the 7th Paris Biennale, and his importance is underlined by numerous exhibitions in Düsseldorf, Cologne, Trier, Saarbrücken, Geneva and elsewhere. Geneva. Madrid, Lisbon and Paris.

Why has he come to Schmallenberg? The second chairwoman of the Schmallenberg Art Association, Gabriele Schulz, invited him. "Besides, it appeals to me to get to know new landscapes. I also like the exhibition space. "The exhibition is open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 2.30pm to 4.30pm and on Sundays from 10am to 12pm.


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