Peter Dreher

The Clover Flower (Die Kleeblume)

9/7/2012 – 10/27/2012

How does art deal with time and how does time treat art?

The solo exhibition of the Freiburg painter Peter Dreher on the occasion of his 80th birthday explores this question. Dreher's paintings appear here pleasantly behind the times. They resist quick consumption, loudness, superficiality. Dreher's paintings require time. Without being heavy, they demand immersion. This is illustrated in particular by his central series of glasses, Day by Day Good Day, which he began in 1974 and continues to work on today.

Dreher began concurrently in 1976 to paint a similar, albeit less purist motif, which would identify him unmistakably as a realist: a clover flower in a glass filled to the brim with water. Including a longer break until 2011 we can follow on 80 canvasses the withering and drying plant, the gradually evaporating water and the accompanying change of pallette in changing light conditions. Time commands attention as it passes.

Peter Dreher, however, has not intended the clover flowers series as a memento mori, he maintains the continuum, adds one moment to another without being dramatic. Not the object, not even time, painting itself is in focus, and one's awareness of it.
For decades the professor emeritus of visual art has belonged to Germany's most important post-war artists. He studied at the Karlsruhe Akademie der Bildenden Künste and was a student of Erich Heckel among others. As teacher at the academy in Karlsruhe he had a strong influence on a younger generation of today internationally renowned artists. Dreher lives near Freiburg and in St. Märgen in the Black Forest.

Artist talk with Dr. Ralf Burmeister (Berlinische Galerie): Oct 5 at 7 pm.