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 overallshape of a scroll implied events in time, a beginning, middle and end. Every Sunday I walked along the Seine to the Musée National 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, andthe Salon des Réalités Nouvelles was holding its annual exhibitions of Abstraction.
divided by white
Trio in Blood Orange, acrylic on canvas, 142 x 246 cm,
exhibited in X Florence Biennale
suite in red major, 140 X 100 cm, acrylic on canvas 2015
exhibited in Réalités Nouvelles
dance the orange, 107 x 122 cm, acrylic on canvas, 2015
duet in blood orange and yellow, 94 x 56 cm, acrylic on canvas
Triangle in yellow / orange, 76 x 92 cm, acrylic on canvas
Four Squared, #72 / Septembre Abstract Project 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Here the grid has been replaced by a simpler geometry, the Square: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 the other)
- the square placed diagonally (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.
Negotiations and Meditations, Wollongong City Gallery
12_05 series 5, acrylic on canvas, 107 X 122 cm, 2005
Paris in paint, published in the Illawarra Mercury, august 9, 2008 with KILMENY ADIE
Robertson artist Peter De Lorenzo finds creative inspiration in the City of Lights. Works include (from top) 0705 acrylic on canvas, March 08 and 1205 (both acrylic and oil on canvas). Some head to Paris for romance but Robertson artist Peter De Lorenzo finds creative inspiration in the City of Lights. De Lorenzo has travelled to France four times and each time the memorable capital city has renewed his artistic enthusasism. His first visit was on a scholarship for the Cite Internationale des Arts after he completed art school at the East Sydney Tech in the late 1970s. ‘‘That was like I finished art school, then there was the scholarship and Paris for six months. Wow. It was a total buzz and I made these paintings that were abstract paintings,’’ De Lorenzo says of the experience. ‘‘When I go I look at the paintings that influenced me when I was first a student there. ‘‘There’s particular paintings, like (Wassily) Kandinsky’s … that had such an influence on me.’’ His paintings after his first Paris experience were large pieces, some were long and narrow and all based their use of colour on musical ideas. Now the 56-year-old is celebrating the continued influence of his French connection on his paintings in his latest exhibition Negotiations and Meditations, which opened at the Wollongong City Gallery recently. The exhibition was three years in the making and followed De Lorenzo’s most recent trip to Paris four years ago. ‘‘Art always relates to me when I go to Paris,’’ he says. ‘‘Somehow I just reconnect with all those sorts of (abstract) ideas. It gets me going that way. It’s wonderful.’’
Perhaps even more importantly for De Lorenzo, the exhibition reminds those familiar with his works of his painting skills. In more recent years, De Lorenzo has become known for his digital media works. This is partly due to his work at Wollongong TAFE where he is head teacher of the digital media department. ‘‘I have always worked in the two areas since art school. I guess I’m more known here now for the digital works and the film-making works,’’ he says. ‘‘I thought well, it’s time that I hoisted the flag for the other thing that I have always done in the background. ‘‘I suppose that’s where I do my thinking. ‘‘It’s quiet time in the studio and you don’t need electricity for it. Getting away from computers is quite good.’’ De Lorenzo says when he heads to his studio he is often reminded of a quote from the painter Phillip Guston who said everyone else – and him mentally – had to leave the room before he could begin work. ‘‘I think that’s so true because I go into my studio after a busy week and it’s like I’m arguing with everybody in my head,’’ he says. ‘‘I think, ‘why am I worrying about this or that issue?’. ‘‘Finally, when I finish doing that I can actually start working.’’
In this exhibition, De Lorenzo says his works continue an exploration of abstract art with a musical flavour. His interest in music comes from his Viennese mother, the violin lessons he had as a child and artists like Kandinsky, who were known to work to music. ‘‘Even though the paintings are like grids when you look at them closely you see they’re all hand-drawn, handpainted and the little divisions between them are shifted,’’ he says. ‘‘Sometimes they get rubbed out and moved across. ‘‘But they’re also like musical compositions. It’s quite meditative. It’s my sanity.’’
Peter De Lorenzo: Negotiations and Meditations – Paintings of tranquillity in which a rational mathematical sequence is used to orchestrate the play of light, dark and colour. Wollongong
wall works 2019