Peter Dreher: Homage to the painting

Exhibition catalogue, edited by Museum für Neue Kunst, Freiburg
texts (German/English/French) by Peter Dreher and Christine Litz
180 p with 500 coloured illustrations
290 x 240 mm, hardcover

ISBN 978-3-86442-026-9

48,00 €

»… and now there are 5,000«

Peter Dreher celebrated his 80th birthday this summer. The diverse oeuvre of the Mannheim-born Emeritus Professor of the Art ­Academy in Karlsruhe has cul­minated in a continuing series ­initiated way back in 1974. The 25 × 20 cm panels – oil on canvas or cardboard  – perennially depict the same solitary glass and are all entitled »Every day is a good day«.  Occasioned by his donation of about more than 400 works from this series to the Museum of ­Modern Art in Freiburg, the artist recently described the genesis of the series as follows: »One idea I had at the end of the 1960s, beginning of the 1970s, was to paint an invisible picture. Of course, it was an impossible undertaking. An undertaking that could only be realised by painting the simplest thing possible … The simplest thing in existence is the inescapable reality that surrounds us. I was always cautious about narrative pictures charged with meaning. But an ­individual painting loses its ­rela­tionship with reality as soon as it is repeated. It is just painting. This is how I arrived at the idea of painting the same thing over and over again  … I can remember exactly: the conception behind the glass series – it was April 1974 and I was having a hot bath – was there in a split second. Suddenly I knew exactly: it has to be an object and this object had to be the same distance away from me, ­bathed in the same artificial light … At that time I thought I would paint five, six paintings of this kind without changing the motif so that people could understand what was meant. At first there were six, then I felt like doing another and another – and now there are 5,000.«

Museum für Neue Kunst, Freiburg, 25/11/2012–7/4/2013