For quite a while now almost all the paintings I’ve done, and think of as successful, have gone through several crises, have changed dramatically after short bursts of work, emerging as different and, hopefully, stronger paintings. There is something chancy and unpredictable about this process. While experiencing them these convulsions can feel destructive and appear to produce nothing... except a mess of paint. But that low point is part of an alchemy that can, and often does, thankfully, take place, the results surprising me and taking the
painting, through twists and turns, to where it should finally be.
Peter Archer, January 2015
Here then are two realities: one of the world around us and the other of the painting. Each has its own merits and rules, its own potential for meaning and beauty. Whenever the painter tries to render a landscape, or whatever, on canvas, then immediately the mind -the imagination – is at work. Everything is turned into shape, line and colour. The artist may, in some way, be perverse, since he tries to fix fleeting moments of reality - the same human need which led the first primitive man to leave the stamp of his hand on the walls of dark caves. The fear of death, of nothingness, leads us to make and contemplate works of art. A drop of rain when it falls disappears at once but can live on in a painting.
The seascapes of Peter Archer are psychographic in essence. They are not chunks of reality as such, or even recollected reality, but made by allowing the painting “to develop it’s own memory,” as it’s direction
reveals itself under the artist’s guidance. It is invention, with brush in hand, that is the key to these paintings; invention always linked to and regulated by a strong need to “get the abstracts right.” Their atmosphere of melancholy, of loneliness, tenderness and mystery, all emerge out of this. A sensitive artist, Archer builds paint surfaces that become fragments of the recognizable, emerging ambiguously, and evoking in the spectator experiences of the sea. This series of haunting and almost monochrome works are love poems; sometimes calm and serene, sometimes full of awe and despair - but always sensuous and emotionally charged.
Andreas Karayan, Cyprus, March 2012
Peter Archer exhibits regularly in London and has had several exhibitions in Europe and two in New York. He was shortlisted for the Jerwood Prize in 2001 and last year was runner up in the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize. His work is in the collection of the Royal Academy, the Arts Council, the University of Utrecht and corporate and private collections in Europe and America.