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The view through the window Irritating works by Peter Valentiner at Galerie Meyer

1995-11-30 Der Blick durchs Fenster
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Views through windows, glimpses, vistas, voyages of discovery for the eye, exciting, surprising. Peter Valentiner, whose large-format works are now on show at Galerie Marianne Meyer, also invites the eye and the imagination on a voyage of discovery.

Peter Valentiner, a Frenchman of Danish descent who has lived and worked alternately in Berlin, Cologne and Paris since 1980, takes the viewer not only into pictorial worlds but also into pictorial spaces: with a few basic forms, he creates a spatiality that initially irritates the viewer, but then invites him to explore more and more. Valentiner, a master of the simultaneous effect, lays up to five layers of paint on top of each other; segments of each individual layer are covered and pasted over, then a new layer of paint is applied, new pictorial units are again pasted over and painted over. Finally, all the surfaces are uncovered again - Valentiner speaks of "decollage" as opposed to "collage" - and "little windows" are created between the individual areas of paint, which can direct the view into the depths of the picture or bring it from the depths of the room to the surface.

What Valentiner formulates relatively matter-of-factly in the picture title as "Form System, Ribbons" reveals to the viewer a world that is located somewhere between Klingsor's Magic Garden and the Starship Enterprise, allowing associations of every kind. His compositions seem to burst the edges of the picture, they move erratically into the room, turn on their own axis, flow towards the viewer, draw him into a maelstrom.

Looking becomes a sensual act, an experience - entirely in accordance with the artist's intentions: "Through composition and the interplay of simple colours, I invite the viewer to reflect on his emotional relationship to space and colour. Through the relationship of space and light, a work is created in which a world is expressed, that of balance, tension and depth, without one knowing exactly what causes this feeling. From this ambivalence, which puts the viewer in a state of confusion, a curiosity arises that initiates the process of engagement. "(The quotation is taken from the catalogue accompanying the exhibition).

If you are curious about Peter Valentiner's pictorial spaces, you have the opportunity to look and experience them at the Marianne Meyer Gallery until 15 December; open Tuesday to Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. and by appointment (phone: 4 39 25).

Claudia Savelsberg


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