Peter Zimmermann (born 1956) borrows the techniques of old masters such as Cranach and Dürer to create superimposed layers of paint that yield a subtly translucent effect. Instead of working in oils, Zimmermann applies an epoxy resin into which acrylic pigments are randomly inserted. Lacing Action painting and Color Field painting with a postmodern twist, Zimmermann’s abstract motifs seem to spring from more figurative representations: he uses computer graphics and ‘dithering’ (a technique that displays images without firm edges so as to give a more colorful appearance) to deform images, texts and signs from his own massive archive of images, evoking the atlases of Gerhard Richter and Aby Warburg. With different algorithms, he renders his source images unrecognizable, abstract. This publication celebrates Zimmermann’s tactile paintings, which possess a luminosity and unique internal sensuality, directly issuing from his complex and innovative technique.
Those who follow German contemporary painting are tracking, most often, the evolution of the Leipzig School and Dresden Pop. Among the essential, independent talents who fall into neither category is Cologne-based artist painter Peter Zimmermann, born in 1956. Zimmermann has been working since the late 1980s on paintings that question contemporary visuality. His work, no matter how conceptual in its subject matter, is full of seductive sensuality. The Book Cover Paintings transcribe art books onto the canvas, reflecting their own art historical roots. The flowing forms of his Blob Paintings parse new media, distorting photographs on the computer and transferring them to canvas. Zimmermann's work has been the subject of solo shows in Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Paris, Berlin, and London, and is in the collection of The Museum of Modern Art. In March 2007, it was exhibited at The Happy Lion Gallery, Los Angeles.
Published by Walther König, Köln. Edited by Axel Heil, Wolfgang Schoppmann. Text by Magrit Brehm.
This overview of Peter Zimmermann's new works also documents their complex image genesis--beginning as digital files and ending in cast synthetic resin. Hundreds of four-color images, three paper changes and an insightful text tell the story.