During a residency in Paris at the Cité Internationale des Arts in 1975 I made the work for my first solo exhibition, PARIS BLACK, shown in Sydney at Watters Gallery in 1977.
Working with raw pigments afforded me an intensity of colour and flatness of surface. The work was informed by musical structures, specifically glissandi, and the overall shape of a scroll implied events in time, a beginning, middle and end.
Every Sunday I walked along the Seine to the Musée Nationale d”Art Moderne, where I was introduced to the School of Paris, from the Delaunays, to Alechinsky. That year Nina Kandinsky presented the work of her late husband at a gallery in the Quartier Latin, and at Notre Dame I listened to Pierre Cochereau. Unknown to me at the time Olivier Messiaen was playing organ at another church, and the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles was holding its annual exhibitions of Abstraction.
Following a visit in 2004 I embarked on a series of paintings inspired by Moroccan tiles in the Paris Mosque, which would evolve over a decade. In the catalogue essay to the 2008 Wollongong City Gallery exhibition Chantal Grech wrote:“.… The end product is the result of a series of negotiated moves in which the process of making is as much a part of the subject of the work as is the emotive quality of the colour. This notion of series which involves repetition not only within the canvas but between canvases refers back to the ground of mathematics and the serialism of some contemporary composers. It uses a minimalist strategy with a visibly expressionist aim… ” In the forward to the catalogue director Craig Judd wrote: “in Negotiations and Meditations … The rhythm of colours across the picture plane has echoes of the works of artists such as the mysterious Madame Helena Blavatsky to Piet Mondrian and to Wassily Kandinsky. These artists, like Peter De Lorenzo seem to be searching for the eternal forms of pure colour and of geometry that underpin and give meaning to everyday existence.”
Peter De Lorenzo
2 – 28 July 2018
“Four Squared” marks a departure point from earlier work in which the rhythms of shapes and colours grow out of a grid drawn and painted onto a single surface. The work, now in relief, has a physical as well as a perceptual depth.
Here the grid has been replaced with a simpler geometry, the Square:
the square within (the square)
the square divided (1,2,4,8)
the square placed in a grid (relationship one to another)
the square placed diagonally (in steps)
Dissonance and harmony influenced by the music of Boulez, Messiaen and Reich remain important references.The works are also characterised by a return to the intensity of raw pigment, (saturation and contrast) and the materials of linen; raw, sealed, primed. The panels are modular while the colour retains evidence of the (intuitive painting) process.
Colours jump intervals between the squares and into the viewer’s space. It is the viewer who synthesises and holds them together.