Peter Heber

deutscher Text

Peter Heber—Verena Kuni once wrote—was a painter in whose case art seemed to be the “second nature”. That is a veritable characteristic of his painting because his art uses color—whether in a glazed or pastose manner—as nature itself offers endless beauty of color, yet at the same time showing in its structures the diversity of nature’s processes.

Peter Heber’s pictures are almost always abstract but as an expert on the history of painting he can resume van Gogh’s rain paintings as well as visualize the humming and buzzing of a bee swarm in his own bee pictures. The reason for this is that this artist does not imitate nature through the painterly options but instead crafts the forces and processes of nature almost incomparably with the means of color in his artwork.

Undoubtedly through deep reflections on nature Heber comes to his opulent worlds of color. These often remain inaccessible at first glance. And at second view they are of great beauty. Without a question this artist knows his way in the (art) history of color, has fathomed William Turner, and must have admired and overcome the “Impressionist worldliness” before he reached the point of defining everything in his pictures through color and basically nothing through form. Peter Heber attempts to exceed the pictorial space by using the material aspect of color, applying it in a pastose manner to the pictorial ground—the canvas—in order to reach into the direction of the real world, i.e. into the third dimension.

And he often ignores the limits of the canvas, allowing his structures of color—waves, rivers, streams—to go beyond the limits of the picture, but of course without creating the impression that the image is a fragment and Heber refrains from any composing in a picture.

Naturally (also in the literal meaning of this expletive) Heber dedicates himself to the strong movements and forces in nature. The painter of white Raimund Girke—an artist who seemingly had laid out his series of paintings strictly following intellect—once told me that in the morning, between dawn and early light, he went for walks along the banks of the Rhine in order to be able to incorporate the streaming, struggling, and gurgling of the water masses in his pictures. Probably Peter Heber adapts sound and light similarly to his artwork.

Ludwig Zerull