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Published 2019-01-01

Petr Gruber, Painter

Petr Gruber's paintings represent the world around him and how he's feeling about it. He often paints natural motives from the memory: shapes, scents, sounds and colours as he remembers them from country walks. He seeks to depict what is beyond seeing – nature in its pure form - and is achieving it in his unique paintings.



Petr bases his concept on the idea that subconscious, where the memories are stored, is unlimited, and that memories are more authentic than immediate thoughts. In his painting Deep Inside the Forest , Petr depicts dark pines. Painting them allows him to re-experience the walk to the forest at dusk. In Under the Hill  he's remembering watching the nature from a hideout behind long, grass reeds.


Exhibition view - left to right: Deep Inside the Forest, The Forest Playground, Light behind the Trees, Snow in the Forest I


The paintings are made sequentially. Petr starts with a fundamental memory and particularizes his vision by adding more memories. The more memories he brings up, the more specific the painting becomes.


      Left: Under the Hill, 200 x 190 cm, oil on canvas    Right: Vista through the Spruce Trees, 100 x 90 cm, oil on canvas


Petr’s paintings look abstract, while they retain the connection to reality. Their motives are still recognizable and important. The theme of the nature is prevailing, which is in harmony with human existence. “I like to look for places that are pleasant to me; places seldom searched by men. For me they are joyful and I can appreciate their tranquility. I’ve started introducing technical elements to my paintings such as an old house, a lookout tower or a forest pitch. They remind me of human presence, however only distantly. The main impulse that gets me painting must be natural like glittering snow, flashing light in the distance and gentle wind at the edge of the forest,” explains Petr.


Exhibition at the National Gallery in Prague - left to right: Room, Snow in the Forest II, Deep Inside the ForestForest Playground