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23 Sep 2010

Galerie Heinz-Martin Weigand: Leta Peer 'Room for Simon'

Leta Peer, Room for Simon, 2010, installation

Leta Peer 'Room for Simon'
Heinz-Martin Weigand


Opening reception: September 24, 7pm Exhibitition through November 13, 2010 Opening hours: Tue - Fri 1pm - 7pm
Sat 11am - 2:30pm

Heinz-Martin Weigand

Galerie Heinz-Martin Weigand
Muehlenstr. 31
76275 Ettlingen/Karlsruhe

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In her exhibition Room for Simon at the Heinz-Martin Weigand Gallery, Leta Peer once more explores her own biography in an artistic manner.

While Leta Peer, 'both in her paintings Along with Simon and in the Mirrors series of photographs achieved a spiritually communicated modern form of an expulsion from paradise',¹ her exhibition Along with Simon (2007) now creates a space for contemplation, comparable to a tableau vivant, 'a kind of secular chapel, whose three-dimensionality as a template for her paintings has, up to now, always been recorded in photographs and then artistically incorporated'.²

A second room has been built into the gallery's exhibition space which – beyond being a mere spatial separation – functions, on another level, as a 'thought space'. Memory processes thought to have long been dealt with are – also against the background of another 'visit' to the grave of her brother Simon on the Via Engadiana in July 2010 – given new room. (Virtually) isolated thanks to its clear separation from the main gallery space, this room facilitates this specific, processual way of approaching the supposed or actually undertaken processing and, at the same time, inherently and in an impressive fashion conveys the process-character by being a 'work in progress' itself. Room for Simon affords us with an intimate view, without being voyeuristic, as it is unfinished, lapidary and fragmentary, not unlike memory itself, which never is able to provide us with a clearly defined image or even a complete one.

The installation Room for Simon is flanked by a series of new, small-format paintings, which, in their style, differ significantly from Leta Peer's previous paintings. They reflect the impressions gained when visiting her brother on the smugglers' trail above Lavin, one characterised by deep ravines, abrupt drops in the rockscape and erosion, and by rapidly changing weather phenomena where dense wisps of fog one second restrict the radius and make it concise but where, only a second later, the view can be open and boundless. The new paintings have the character of a sketch and are themselves turned into hurriedly and instantly jotted down fragments of memory.

Views of landscapes and family members alternate with those of villages and close and not so close acquaintances. The connection is loose and not apparent at first glance. It should be understood as a call to an increasingly changing 'terrain humain'.

Leta Peer was born in Winterthur, Switzerland, in 1964 and studied free painting in Basel. Since 1994 she has continuously been invited to show her work by galleries, art associations and museums all over the world.

¹, ² Thomas Elsen, Augsburg, extract from catalogue text, Leta Peer, Along with Simon, Kehrer Verlag, Heidelberg, 2009