Peter Dreher German, 1932-2020


(b. 1932 Mannheim - d. 2020 Wittnau, Germany) A prolific painter who painted more than 5,000 pictures of empty water glasses since 1974, Peter Dreher's ongoing magnum opus; Day by Day, Good Day, depicts the same glass painted by day and night under exactly the same conditions, at the same distance, on the same worktop and against the same background. Measuring 10 x 8 inches, the works may at first appear to be identical but each is unique with individual differences in light, shadow, colour and reflection.


The small differences that do appear reveal the artist himself, the changes to and within the person who has made himself the instrument of this experiment. The humble and simple object of a glass is chosen because it is almost invisible and ephemeral, a vessel for reflection.


Every time a work is completed he returns to the subject as if seeing it for the first time. Consequently, painting for him is not a means to an end, aimed at reproducing reality or an interpretation of reality or reacting to it in a kind of relation between artist and world. Painting is the purpose itself.


The painter himself stated, “for me, the deliberate restriction to the same motif is not a sacrifice, neither is it based on the idea of creating a particularly crazy concept to increase my recognisability or to distinguish myself from my colleagues. I chose what is deemed to be a restriction in order to focus all my energy on what is really important and crucial for me: painting.”