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Layers of colour create perspective and depth


Farbebenen schaffen Durchblick und Tiefe
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Peter Valentiner's paintings at the Kunstverein


With the Danish-born Peter Valentiner, the Kunstverein once again presents an artist who has devoted himself solely to colour and abstract colour planes. Peter Valentiner, born 41 in Copenhagen, studied and pursued various artistic activities in Tours (France), has been working as a lecturer at the European Academy of Fine Arts in Trier since 1979 and is being shown in Marburg for the first time.


His large-format acrylic paintings live entirely from the different colour fields, which are applied in several layers and clearly distinguish themselves from one another through clear demarcations. Through his paintings, Valentiner wants to put the viewer in a position from which he can gain a new way of looking at things. "Each painting is a representation in which colour is transformed into light and form into space. Through this space-light relationship, a work is created in which a world is expressed: that of balance, tension and depth." This is how Valentiner himself formulates his claim. Whereas in the earlier works there is more of a search for form-colour and movement, ending in a veritable whirl of colour, as can be seen from the catalogue on display, Valentiner's paintings shown in the Kunstverein's exhibition hall are rather homogeneous in their structure and motionless. The technique is the same in all the paintings: the first layer of paint is obtained by covering it with irregularly geometrically shaped paper stencils. The uncovered areas are painted over with a new layer of paint, the second layer of paint is covered again and painted over with new paint. This creates three superimposed layers of colour, which are amazing in their spatial effect. Depending on the brightness, the individual layers of colour come more into the foreground or move to the back, so that transparency and wide depths are created, but also irritation through the overlying, concealing fields of colour. In the painting "Sehnsucht" (Longing), Valentiner chose the symbolic colours red and blue as the basic tones for the individual layers, with blue predominating in a variety of nuances. The colours are applied in rough brushstrokes, which remain visible as a duct and movement. The irregular geometric shapes of the coloured surfaces also create a rhythm that corresponds to the inner restlessness. The colour red is never again interrupted and superimposed.


n the works created between 81 and 85, the duller and darker shades predominate. The painting "Delft", dated 1986, on the other hand, is kept in strikingly light tones, white, light yellow and light purple, and therefore appears friendly and cheerful. It could indicate a new colour period in Valentine's work.


The numerous drawings scattered across various exhibition rooms, as is often the case with Constructivists. In terms of their significance, they are far behind Valentiner's painterly work and the question arises as to why they were not dispensed with altogether. Nevertheless, the exhibition is worth seeing and should be heeded.


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