Haus Koblach | Koblach | Österreich
On the occasion of Peter Nussbaum’s 70th birthday, his hometown has organized a monographic retrospective to celebrate his extensive artistic career.
Born in 1953 in Koblach, Austria, and a resident of Italy since 2000, Peter Nussbaum’s artistic activity began in 1977.
After initial approaches to Naturalism and Expressionism and experimenting with various painting techniques, he developed his personal poetic style. “During numerous trips and stays abroad, where I couldn’t work with tempera, I perfected the technique of watercolor painting. It was a process that took almost 20 years. This is how my preference for a transparent application of color, layered colored light, emerged and has consolidated over the years in my expressive mode.”
Peter Nussbaum’s painting style is based on the ambiguity between rigor and immateriality in his geometric figures, creating a space that is not real, but of the image, consisting of two-dimensional surfaces and projections of airy volumes capable of reaching the third dimension. For the artist, light is the primary and fundamental element; it defines space and form, as well as color. What we see is not the matter itself, but the light that it reflects. Based on these considerations, the artist constructs forms on the painting surface composed of a stratification of transparent layers of color. The image, despite its compositional rigor, is never static because it is animated by a virtual sequence of interconnected primary forms. The geometric bodies emerge from the surrounding space as tangible incarnations of light. To achieve the luminous quality that distinguishes his works, they involve meticulous craftsmanship in their construction: the base, made of a wooden structure, is treated and finely sanded to obtain a perfect surface on which the artist applies thin layers of transparent acrylic paint with a brush. There is a strong symbolic component: light is a metaphor for spiritual elevation. It becomes an archetype of all the primary sources from which both biological and inner life emanate.
“In an attempt to deepen the expressive mode of the paintings, I felt the need to go beyond external and visible forms. My search for the spiritual element led me to the study of the humanities. It all began during prolonged stays on Mount Athos, where I spent over six months with the monks. And later, the study of numerology, cosmogony, Kabbalah, metaphysics, and other related fields. The intangible, the inexplicable, is a magnetic force that shapes my path in this cosmos. It is in this field of energy that I dare to reproduce the invisible, the universal, in material forms and colors with the means at my disposal. The vibration of the universe can only be sought, with our senses, exclusively in the realm of the abstract. And even though my paintings sometimes use identifiable three-dimensional forms, they only serve as symbols for something that cannot be grasped intellectually but can be directly perceived by our inner being.”
ussbaum has been described as an “architect of the spirit” because, through his canvases and installations, he aims to create an opportunity for spiritual reflection that goes beyond pure aesthetic enjoyment. His goal is to transfer onto the painting surface the signs of the divine mystery, working precisely with the concept of energy in art and the ways in which it can be represented, alluded to, perceived, and transmitted through artistic language.