AboutPeter Frie's landscape paintings seem, at first, to sit conventionally within the long tradition of painters such as Constable, Dahl, Friedrich and Turner. Certainly Frie's animated brushwork captures all the drama and movement of scudding clouds across the sky and of trees bristling in the wind, and he conveys all the emotional impact of the different seasons or a sudden change in the weather. Frie's landscapes, however, are not straightforwardly representational. He does not depict particular places, but instead invents a fusion of different scenes he has witnessed at various times and later recollected in his studio. So whilst we feel that the 'paintings manifest a powerful sense of place, they also have a metaphorical dimension, so that any overly explicit link with a certain place tends to become blurred. Frie does not reproduce views, but paints memories.' Jeremy Lewison (1998).
Using unpainted sections of canvas around his landscapes, Frie enhances this idea that we are looking at the representation of memory. The painted scene, surrounded by a white border, hovers in a kind of limbo somewhere between the real and unreal, just like the sudden flash of remembrance. It is this rendering of 'inner' or psychological space makes Frie's work so captivating and contemporary.
For Last Summer, his first exhibition in this country for nine years, Peter Frie has created a series of beautiful new works especially for the New Art Centre. These include five large landscapes painted in Frie's distinctive style as well as still lifes, a genre Frie has not explored for a number of years and which he has never before exhibited in the UK.