press release

"I was always cautious about narrative pictures charged with meaning. But an individual painting loses its relationship with reality as soon as it is repeated. It is just painting. This is how I arrived at the idea of painting the same thing over and over again." – Peter Dreher

This autumn, MK Gallery presents an exhibition of work by Peter Dreher, a painter from southwest Germany who has produced a daily painting of the same empty glass for the last 40 years. This remarkable series, of which there are over 5,000 examples, is titled "Every Day is a Good Day," taken from a Zen-Buddhist saying that suggests everything is of equal importance.

Dreher’s practice is contemplative, diaristic and obsessive. His work highlights minute changes in our surroundings, deliberately marking the passage of time and ultimately providing evidence of the artist’s existence. His work inevitably recalls the subtle shifts and gradations in Giorgio Morandi’s still lifes as well as the rigorously serialised approaches of Dreher’s contemporaries such as the conceptual artists Hanne Darboven, On Kawara or Roman Opalka.

The exhibition at MK Gallery will include 100 of the glass paintings produced during the day in natural light, 50 produced at night as well as rarely shown paintings of still lifes, interiors, skyscapes and more recent large scale works depicting skulls, and a series of flower paintings.

About the artist Peter Dreher (b. 1932, Mannheim, Germany) studied at the State Academy of Fine Arts at Karlsruhe from 1950 to 1956 and was Professor of Painting at the State Academy, Karlsruhe, from 1968 to 1997. During his professorship, he taught and influenced a number of acclaimed artists, including Anselm Kiefer. Selected solo exhibitions include Peter Dreher — Homage to Painting, Museum für Neue Kunst, Städtische Museen Freiburg, (2012-2013); Musée d’art moderne et contemporain, Geneva, (2011), Museum Erfurt, Germany (2008), The Approach Gallery, London (2007), and Athens Biennial (2007). Dreher lives and works in Wittnau, Germany. www.peter-dreher.de

Publication The exhibition will be accompanied by a publication with a dozen texts written by and about the artist over the last 40 years, with one new contribution by Michael Archer, Professor at Goldsmiths University. Available from 18 October. More details at www.mkgallery.org.

Special event 18 October, 6:30pm, free English National Ballet present a choreographed response to Peter Dreher’s work. Free but places are limited. Booking essential via www.mkgallery.org.

MK Gallery MK Gallery, 900 Midsummer Boulevard, Central Milton Keynes, MK9 3QA. Admission is free. Details at www.mkgallery.org.

MK Gallery supporters MK Gallery receives core funding from Milton Keynes Council and Arts Council England South East.

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Peter Dreher