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Kunstmuseum Luzern opens an exhibition of works by Fabian Peake
Fabian Peake, The Coathangers, 2019, Sperrholz, Leinwand und Filzstift, Masse variabel, Ausstellungsansicht Kunstmuseum Luzern 2019, Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Marc Latzel

LUCERNE.- The eponymous swift flits around the corner of a terraced house in London. The objects the bird might see out of the corner of his eye provide inspiration for Fabian Peake. His art draws on public space: unpretentious street furniture consisting of utility poles, signage and advertising hoardings, dust bins or manhole lids all flow into Fabian Peake’s formal cosmos. This artist is interested, both formally and haptically, in what is around him, but also in craftsmanship. He therefore repeatedly appropriates new insights and techniques. For his textile objects recalling the making of trousers or jackets, he learnt tailoring, with all the refinements necessary to sew a suit. And for his latest wooden object, made this year for the exhibition, he came to grips with boat building.

Again and again, Fabian Peake combines abstract forms and objects in his painting and drawing. Their colours, the clarity of their forms, his engagement with the everyday and his aesthetic recall Pop Art. At the same time, a world reminiscent of “Alice in Wonderland” shines through in Peake’s works. The artist grew up with that story, given that his father, Meryn Peake, illustrated stories by Lewis Carroll and the Brother Grimm, among others. In a surrealistic or dream-like way things from different spheres collide: trees, lips, cars, ties, barcodes or smoking cigarettes. Between these we repeatedly find text in the artist’s handwriting, short or long, also reversed or drilled out of wooden planks. Here the artist’s handwriting often takes on an ornamental character or, by being superimposed several times, looks like hatching. Painting and literature frequently comment on or flow into one another, particularly in the forest paintings in which Fabian Peake inscribes his texts into geometrical forms. For literature is not just an important source for this artist, he himself also writes shorts texts and poems. For his exhibition at Kunstmuseum Luzern, Fabian Peake has done two new murals with mirror-writing on site.

A Swift at the Corner is Fabian Peake’s first solo exhibition in Switzerland. The presentation at the Kunstmuseum Luzern shows the full range of his multifaceted work: painting, drawing, murals, photography, textile objects, reliefs and sculptures. It links, associatively, early works with those made especially for this exhibition. Thus it becomes clear which themes preoccupy the artist and how he brings them up to date gain. At the same time, the old and the new merge, for example, when older textile objects are presented on a new series of “clothes hangers”. The exhibition space is structured by a series of grey sculptures, including a little house or a ship, but also by more abstract objects that seem familiar yet cannot be fully deciphered. The unified colour scheme signals a common bond and links the varyingly abstract forms into a cosmos of their own through which visitors can wander.

Curated by Eveline Suter

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