Peter Peri Exhibition 20 June – 31 July 2008

This is a unique exhibition for Lincoln of the works of Peter Peri, émigré artist, including sculptures, etchings, drawings and designs for wall murals for schools, and represent works not usually accessible to the public. Works by Peri currently on show can be seen at Tate Modern and Leeds City Art Gallery, with works in The British Museum and The Henry Moore Institute, Leeds. Click for full Press Release.
Peter Peri Exhibition Selection of Work
(Further Image Galleries – Setting Up the ExhibitionThe Exhibition)

In 1948, the Artists International Association Gallery put on an exhibition simply entitled, People by Peri; the exhibition showed Peri’s ‘little people’, small, ordinary figures doing everyday things. But the title of this exhibition reflects the main body of Peri’s work, which puts ‘people’ at its very core, and it is no less relevant to the works in this exhibition than it was then.

In Peri’s work, putting his art ‘at the service of (these) people’ meant not abstract ideals, but putting those very people at the heart of his work. Revolution was not via the grand monument, but the common people: standing, leaning, embracing, and playing.

His use of concrete resulted from his experimentation with new materials. The concrete and resin mix, applied over a wire framework, had to be kept wet while working – but there is no doubt that it gives his work a sense of immediacy and energy. There is, however, also a sense that this rough, ordinary material could be part of the everyday fabric of a place in a way that the materials of ‘high art’ could not.

Peter Peri – 1899-1967: From a Jewish family, Peri was an active communist in Budapest, Hungary, ‘till 1920. He moved to Paris then Berlin, 1920 – 1933, working with the Der Sturm group of abstract experimental artists. He came to London in 1933 and spent WW2 with Camden Rescue Service. He was a founder member of Artists’ International Association, which aimed at promoting peace and preventing fascism. He later joined The Society of Friends. The 1950’s post-war regeneration and building projects provided an opportunity for Peri to create works for the ‘service of people’, through commissions for schools. He was commissioned by Stuart Mason, Director of Education for Leicestershire, for a series of low relief wall murals for its many new schools.

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