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 Peter Hess  (1955 - )

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Lived/Active: California / Netherland      Known for: portrait, animal, books, photomontage

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Ad Code: 4
Peter Hess
An example of work by Peter Hess
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following, submitted January 2005, is from the artist.

In the 1980s, endeavoring to create figurative imagery while avoiding direct depictions of the human figure, Peter Hess completed a series of paintings of primates, many featuring passages of texture and mosaic. The primate pictures comment on religion, while proclaiming "faith" in science and evolution. They were exhibited in solo shows at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, the Long Beach Museum of Art, and the Koplin Gallery.

In the late 80s and early 90s, he created diverse bas relief works utilizing carved, polychromed wood which operate somewhere between relief and sculpture. He also experimented with digital art created on the computer and later embarked on a color drawing series depicting books. The books are presented in two ways: as mute and indecipherable objects which sometimes suggest architectural or biomorphic elements, and as objects which reveal themselves by their titles and associations. Through their grouping and arrangement they convey a subject, a narrative, a thought process, or an opinion. Appropriately, these were exhibited in bookstore galleries.

The latest series of gouache paintings are portraits of people who have committed suicide. Not intended to be lurid or depressing nor portraying the act itself, they describe the moment just before the act when a choice and life remain in the balance. Included in the series are painter Jules Pascin, actor George Sanders and actress Dorthoy Dandridge.

Hess' current paintings are large oils dealing with Biblical and historical subjects.

ARTS & ARCHITECTURE, July 1985. "Painting Today: The Present Past" Laurie Garris.
ARTWEEK, December 14, 1985, "A Conjunction of Opposites" Marge Bulmer
BACHY, August 1979, "Three Los Angeles Artists" Roderick Bradley
CITADEL, 1996 A literary magazine; painting reproduced on front cover
LOS ANGELES READER, December 13, 1985, "Critic's Choice" Marge Bulmer

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