Peter Zimmermann is a visual artist who lives and works in Cologne, Germany. His paintings, sculptures, and installations are color-driven, abstracted versions of found digital and print images that embody our contemporary encounters with objects and ideas. Zimmermann’s work gestures to the vast accretion inherent in today’s visual world, which is so often filtered through screens and informed by an infinite lineage of manipulation and application.
Rather than rendering the objects we encounter, Zimmermann explores the process by which we find them, via lush epoxy pour paintings and Schüsseln, or pools, of physically elevated, amorphous sculpture, often installed atop poles and upper walls, suggesting vestigial calls to action and the proliferation of collective, digital capture. His work is smooth, shiny, and borderless; it bears the marks of tremendous modernity in its shapes and lines, each piece a translated, abstracted map of a once particularized element. Zimmermann’s paintings are midscale snapshots without a past or a future. They present translation as movement, celebrating the universal value and emotional information inherent in color and line.
These paintings and sculptures are extended considerations of the state of contemporary information. In the world of images and endless media platforms, our visual reality buzzes with continuous density. The work of Peter Zimmermann inverts our sense of order: by beginning with these manipulated particulars and converting them into abstractions, the artist reveals the foundational visual language behind every image—its color, its shape, and its line.
His work is borne of intellectual curiosity; his process addresses the reliability of literal renderings, and each piece seems an answer to the recurring question: what can be made new with painting? Zimmermann creates work that reflects the distinct realities of technological life. Acknowledging the reproduction, replication, and modifications inherent in shared images, his paintings contain the full spectrum of our visual inheritance.
Peter Zimmermann (b.1956 Freiburg, Germany) lives and works in Cologne, Germany. His epoxy pour paintings and sculpture prompt endless interpretation, the depth and density of his materials creating effects of shifting light and color. Zimmermann uses photoshop filters to manipulate found mass media images, as well as art historical images from books. His process is a reflection of the social shift from a centrally-organized dissemination of knowledge to crowdsourcing; his abstract paintings examine the terms of contemporary visual depiction—that it is no longer possible to look at an image without also encountering a multitude of digital visual contexts. Zimmermann graduated from the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Stuttgart in 1984. Recent solo exhibitions include Museum für neue Kunst, Freiburg, Germany; Museum gegenstandsfreier Kunst, Otterndorf, Germany, and Hartlepool Art Gallery, Hartlepool, UK. Zimmermann’s work can be seen in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Neue Galerie Graz in Austria, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art in Paris, and the New Orleans Museum of Modern Art, among others.