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 Peter Diem  (1945 - )

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Lived/Active: Holland/United States/Germany      Known for: abstract expressionist painting-cows, graphic design

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Ad Code: 4
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Cow on a black background; Cow on a green background (2)
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Peter Diem (1945) is a Dutch painter, best known for his abstract and energetic depiction of cows, often flying cows.  He  lives in Amsterdam, having first moved there from his birth place of Coburg, Germany at age three in 1948.  His father was Dutch, spartan in his habits and very strict, and his mother was German.  Diem had a difficult childhood in which the people of Amsterdam showed they were not charmed by Germans so soon after the Second World War.  However, this period was fruitful for Diem because during this childhood, he developed a strong passion for painting, and was especially inspired by study at the Graphic Lyceum in South Amsterdam.

At age 17 in 1963, Diem left Amsterdam, lived and worked in Switzerland and then traveled through Germany, Spain, and Morocco.  Jason Berger, a student of Matisse, encouraged Diem to concentrate on painting, which he ultimately did.   He lived in America for two decades, living there with his wife Linda Asher and a son and daughter.   He also traveled to South America, Africa and Jamaica and was involved in Russia in a large project related to the opening of MTV in Moscow.

Halfway through the 1990's he returned to the Netherlands and, working closely with the artist Theo Niermeijer, he devotes himself to his painting, Greenpeace projects, a burn center in Beverwijk and with his Diem Museum on the Prinsengracht Amsterdam.

Of his work it is written that "he paints like a tornado, he lives his art. Powerful paintings are representative exponents of his turbulent lifestyle. Bold, intrepid colors, thick succulent paint, and daring sensual lines are the hallmark of his paintings.  They reflect his lust for life, his sense of humor, and his distinct individuality.

In the United States when he was in his early 20s, he spent his days making a living as a lithographer, but his soul was saturated with the paints he worked with in his studio at night. He  is fascinated by the COBRA group (a school of art emerging from Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam), who were wildly experimentative. Through this inspiration, colour becomes his most important means of expression.

Amsterdam Museum of Modern Art,

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