Born in Worms, Germany in 1953, Peukert studied at the Goethe University in Frankfurt concentrating in the Study of Ethnology. He is an alumnus of the school of Christa Moering, founder of “Künstlergruppe 50” in Wiesbaden. Peukert’s professional experiences make him a Renaissance man within fine art, design and music. His has worked as an artistic advisor in commercial Los Angeles designing and editing music videos with his paintings used in branding research and television. He has been a curator, film director, playwright, songwriter, mentor and participated in artist residencies in Germany, Peru and The United States. Peukert’s experiences with animation, video editing, polaroid photography and composing music influence his work.
The artist says of his recent paintings that he tries to avoid thoughts while making as much as he can. Re- contextualizing that of the familiar, he improvises from the get go and approaches the work in the vain of a jazz musician. Peukert inverts the techniques of abstract gestural painting in on themselves as painted marks stumble upon a point of visual recognition and embrace precision. In his paintings, Bird of Prey and Irma shape, color and line become recognizable images, the profile of a bird with a pointed beak and wing and the eye of a hurricane, lead themselves to moments where signifiers reveal the signified. Colorful layers of marks on the canvas are in a lingual jest to define structure. Forms are found through their making and pushed further as recognizable imagery.
His painting lineage cannot be discussed without acknowledging the work of Sigmar Polke and Gerhard Richter. As artistic predecessors, they grappled with Post Modernism into Neo Realism and imagery’s relationship to visual information, a half generation ahead of Peukert. Dieter Peukert’s visual language is congruent to that of photography. Capturing a line or contrasting shape, as though through the lens of a camera, the painter carries this impulse forward decision after decision, choice by choice. Digesting, reconfiguring and choosing to present an idea, form, animation or pattern, Peukert’s vocabulary is enriched from action to reaction. Peukert’s does not fall into a formalist approach as the work never loses its internal pulse of consciousness. Rather than an image depiction or using the nonobjective that would be void of feeling, Peukert is interested in discovering the sensation of it all. These dialectics of image versus action tie together the photographic and rhythmic approach to the work.
Embedded in Dieter Peukert’s process of making lies a recognition of our hyperawareness of ourselves in relationship to society. Title plays into the personality and thought process behind each painting. Miami State of Mind and Rear View Mirror both painted this year, stir up associations alluding to specific time and place. A sense of active motion is present in the titles; they lead us in a more cognitive than descriptive direction. Setting a mood or motif, the titles contextualize the paintings at play with what is contemporary and popular culture. From the meditative We Are Related to Eagles and Doors of Perception to the assertive Round and Round It Goes- Reincarnation is a Tricky Bitch and even the heartfelt Purple Haze-In Memory of Jimmy Hendrix and Prince, the works, along with each title explores how information is transferred and communicated, sending a message to be read, performed and experienced again.
The artist’s life experiences and breath of professional experience give integrity behind his choice of materiality in the exhibition. Focusing on painting instead of animation, photography, sculpture or video, this body of work becomes a window into the thought process of this thinking artist. Painting as a medium is a decision for Peukert, each action within a work has the strength of purpose. Meaning is found in the collision of abstract and referent decision making in There is Always the Unexpected.