Flowers Gallery is pleased to present a survey of recent paintings by Peter Schmersal. The exhibition will mark his first exhibition with Flowers since joining the gallery this year, and his first in the UK since 2004.
Schmersal is known for his expressive reworking of the traditional genres of the still life, landscape, portrait and self-portrait, in which he engages in a compelling contemporary dialogue with the masterworks of western narrative painting. Appropriating and reinventing familiar themes and motifs from the late Medieval period to the Baroque, Schmersal creates his compositions with a gestural language entirely his own.
Oscillating on the border between representation and abstraction, Schmersal's figurative subjects often float within atmospheric colour fields, transcending the confines of a fixed narrative, or familiar viewpoint.
This removal or realignment of historical references allows the artist to 're-organize' the borrowed figure, capturing the essence of the contemporary human form, and related objects, through his expression of colour and movement. His application of a variety of experimental painterly techniques brings visceral tension to the painted surface, from liquefied washes of pure colour to vigorous gestural brushwork.
Paintings by artists such as Rubens, Baldung Grien, Goya and Ingres have served as the catalysts for many of his recent works.
Through concentrated layering and interconnection with personal imagery, Schmersal simultaneously tests the contemporary currency of iconography from the past and reflects upon the task of painting in the present day.
He says: "There is no way to escape the compelling potency of signs. I see little difference between the fables and tales we find in art history, and our contemporary strategies to form signs and invent symbols as comments on our current lives. I concentrate on my own observations, reflected in their translation - this is the source that generates creative initiative."