Home Artists Peter Lang

Peter Lang

Holzkirchen, Germany

26 Works exhibited on Kooness


Works by Peter Lang

Vid Eldborgarhraun


100 x 75cm


Peter Lang is a landscape painter. He deals with certain manifestations of nature, reflects their spatial extent and is dedicated to the reproduction of light, air and perspective. He's a traditionalist in a sense. However, if you look at the nature of his landscape painting, it quickly becomes clear that he is taking an idiosyncratic and independent path.

On the one hand, in this way he places himself on the tradition, but on the other hand integrates contemporary ideas and forms into his works in such a way that works emerge that can be read both as landscapes and as autonomously abstract pictorial inventions.

Ever since Leonardo first dedicated himself to a landscape in a pen drawing (Florence, Uffizi) in 1473 that was able to do without people, it has always been the light that fascinates artists. Mood values ​​and atmospheric manifestations are observed and rendered differentiated by time of day. Not only in the south - in the second half of the 15th century Bellini is fascinated by the phenomenon of sunlight, Giorgione, Tintoretto, Titian and others use the manifold possibilities of color to formulate mood and light values ​​in nature - but North of the Alps, too, can be seen as a whole of nature clippings, which suggest a subtle observation of the light, as for example in the book of hours "Les tres riches heures du Duc de Berry" of the Limburg brothers.

The importance of the light, the times of day and atmospheric moods for Peter Lang works is already evident in the titles he gives to his paintings: "Bright Morning", "New Day", "Flirting", "Foggy Morning", " Wolf hour "or" inversion "are examples. Various works from the year 2005, which the artist assigns to a series of "border landscapes" called images, show light, wide and open structures. "Bright Tomorrow" captivates with its delicate, almost impasto colorfulness, whose earthy tones at the lower edge of the picture dissolve into glistening light via fine blue variations in the middle ground to the upper edge of the picture. Also "November morning" from the same year shows this shimmering brightness, but pushes a broad, light gray stripes in this clear area, which rises here already in the tender green held ground. These atmospherically influenced images, reminiscent of the lightness of impressionist plein-air painting, introduce the artist to an advanced stage of his invention. He took the way there via the media drawing and printmaking.

Peter Lang, who was born in Holzkirchen in 1965, still remembers the art teachers who have aroused his interest: Heinz Skudlik, his first drawing teacher in Miesbach, was heavily involved with the interpretation of images of saints, but also had his students asking questions He made them familiar with abstraction by, for example, painting Chillida's "Wind Combs" to teach them the meaning of the gaps. "The wind that you do not see is the deciding factor. It's about the dance in the intermediate area ". This point will play a special role in Lang's later oeuvre; but it is also the discussion of an object in its environment and the resulting stratifications, which impress him in a lasting way and find their way into his paintings.

Man and earth, that was another topic that captivated the student. Lang reports that he sometimes took the subway to Munich early in the morning, then ran with the commuter traffic and drew it. The immediacy with which he was able to realize his perceptions was very important to him. She became the motor for another experiment of the then sixteen- or seventeen-year-old: For the way to school - now in Bad Toelz - Lang mounted a drawing board on the handlebar of his bicycle. He wanted to be mobile in order to grasp the correct landscape section according to his concept, exactly at the moment in which light, cloudscape and mood in this structure were optimally effective. That he so occasionally missed the lesson, he has his Tölzer teacher, Max Weihrauch, looked up. Frankincense attached great importance to the art historical education of the class. For the pragmatists, the initiative and originality of his disciples were just as important as pure knowledge transfer. Therefore, he also accepted Lang's idiosyncratic contribution, as the task was to interpret Picasso's "Guernica": Lang let his classmates abruptly and without announcement scream as loud as they could. He was very close to the brutality of the scene and the horror conveyed in it.

Peter Lang wanted to become an artist. So he began - work space and materials of his teacher were available to him without restriction - to produce a large number of woodcuts in addition to his drawings. Through the profession of father, who was typesetter, he had learned to love the smell of color and the versatility of black in particular. He had also understood that a successful graphic concept is based on the balance of gray levels, that the graphical means used are subordinate to the respective necessity, and that the aesthetics of a structure are influenced by their readability, a rule that is too often forgotten today , The adolescent thus developed early on a sense that the proportionality of the effort is a good work and that it can be helpful to work with systems. This knowledge shapes his work to the present day.

Peter Lang develops his paintings in two main steps. Based on the immediate view of a landscape, he first brings its structure to the primed canvas in classic panel painting style. After previous experiments with oil paint, he uses today to an egg tempera. The choice of medium has consequences: while oil encloses the respective pigment and is well suited to work out the depth of a motif, the pigments are rather caught by the tempera emulsion and thus come to mind more clearly. A particularly strong refraction of light (which is also used for icon painting) is the result. With a relatively broad and rough brush, Lang wears the paint thinly and works his way from the rough sketch to finer phrasing.

The next stage brings an innovation that radically changes the appearance of the painting: it transfers it to abstraction. Peter Lang uses a tool that is familiar to craftsmen when it comes to interior work: the chalk line, a tool for applying longer, straight lines. Lang applies another binder to the existing landscape image and, with the help of a suitably prepared chalk line, applies a second layer of pigment. This technique meets his need to work with a certain tempo at the peak of productive tension and to put an emphasis on color design and spatial development. He recalls Cezanne's call to work in parallel with nature and says: "I do not want to reproduce landscape, but come into a room myself."

"Bright Tomorrow" is one of the earliest works in which Lang has tested this new technique. He sees it as a key picture. Consisting exclusively of a battered or plucked structure, it shows a friendly, open space that stretches from the bottom, in shades of brown, across a blue shimmering depth into a light-raising expanse. The painting has a calm, pleasant aura, but lacks the mysterious, shimmering multi-dimensionality that lends Lang's later works their special quality. Its structure is entirely horizontal, it consists of nothing but lines drawn in color across the entire width of the picture. One can compare this grid in some way with the Mezzotinto of a copper engraving, the reverse, however, a motif is drawn later. Peter Lang initially wanted to try out his new technique on the screen. He realized that he could use the lines and their distances to formulate all his creative ideas. In the interplay of colors, which he can apply stronger or finer and accentuate from left or right as he pleases, his idea of ​​landscape with horizon, foreground, middle and background forms.

A refinement through differently overlapping painterly concepts emerged only in further experiments. "Glade" and "Sumava" are examples. In addition to the extension of the additional scenic level, they also provide evidence of a connection between Peter Lang and the Danube School through an intense examination of the artist's native forest landscape. In the first third of the 16th century, artists such as Jörg Breu the Elder, Rueland Frueauf the Younger, Lucas Cranach the Elder, and then Albrecht Altdorfer, for the first time, regarded the landscape as an independent pictorial apparition. Individually and often topographically determinable, they usually depicted lush forest landscapes in nervous detail. They sought the spatial experience and re-enacted phenomena of light in glowing colors, which elevate their works partly into cosmic visionary spheres. In doing so, they refer to a 19th-century artist whose work Peter Lang explicitly names a starting point for his own artistic inspiration: Caspar David Friedrich. In his painting "Monk by the sea".

The "Ebene in January" created in 2008, like other paintings from this year, can hardly be addressed as an immediate landscape image. The light, which here explores the depth of the space, opens it wide and drops it against the dark ground, gradually withdraws in its function behind the effect of the color. Underlined in ocher and red, it is the blues that determine the character of the painting. Dark in a wide area of ​​the bottom and a narrow zone at the top of the picture, it appears bright in the center of the field and, interspersed with the hues of umbrage, picks up a mood that does not clearly tell whether it is condensing or lightening. "Blue Sky" is a highly abstracted painting that Peter Lang says has been working intensively on how to break Umbra to cool the colors. A wide plain, held in widely varying browns and greens, loses itself in a dark, blue horizon. Above it appears a narrow brightened zone, which condenses again to the upper edge of the picture. Almost dramatically, a bright strip of light cuts through the "Great Dark Landscape", whose deep shades of green, brown and ocher reflect the theme of darkness.

Technically perfect and certainly a highlight in Lang's "great Umbria" is the painting "Bohemian Forest". The lower area, decorated in dark brown tones, is followed by a strip in which beige, pink and light blue intermingle. In addition, blue condenses to high intensity. The following brown-blue phase turns into a very subtle brightening to the upper edge of the screen in black-brown tones. The result is an almost mystical mood, which shows that Peter Lang, despite all his closeness to nature, is interested in further dimensions of contemplation. His landscapes are fields where colors can present their brilliance and the inherent spectrum of creative possibilities. We experience them in their power as well as in sensitive tenderness. They appear dense and transparent, sunny light and heavy like a thunderstorm. The works developed from them invite you to consciously perceive the magical moments of a change in the weather, to experience landscape and atmosphere as interdependent elements and to see how much the outer images are shaped by ideas that often have their place beyond our immediate consciousness. Stratifications and interstices, from which Lang's paintings are technically constituted, thus become metaphors of each individual reception. It is able to open up landscapes to which we do not always devote the prominence that they deserve.