About the artist:
Known as one of the foremost painters of the canyons of the Southwest, Peter Holbrook has a unique and unusual method of painting. He portrays light and form with subtle and intricate patterns of color, combining the quality of abstraction with the image of reality. Holbrook’s rather loosely rendered landscapes occupy an area where photography and painting overlap. Photography is the source which Holbrook uses and he insists that it is just as important that he be an accomplished photographer as well as a painter. Combining the elements of a series of photographs, and using his own keen sense of natural light and space, Holbrook creates his own painterly reality to represent the beauty and his vision of the natural environment. Holbrook paints the land as it is and places a strong significance on the natural elements. The grandeur of this American West is devoid of cowboys, Indians and references to man’s place in nature. That is not the story here. These landscapes are examinations of polarities: light and dark, hot and cool, flat and textured, focused and unfocused all the while emphasizing patterns, rhythms and transitions in search of ‘the music in the place.’ Although his paintings appear to be photorealistic from a distance, at closer range the viewer can see that the canvas is filled with impressionistic strokes of color. Holbrook is primarily an oil painter because of their richness and thickness and their ability to produce a saturated and active surface as well as painterly brush strokes. Holbrook is not especially interested in the photorealistic approach to painting, rather he uses the brushwork and broken colors to allow the colors to mix optically in order to suggest the landscape rather than replicate it. Peter Holbrook was born in New York City in 1940 and lived in an upstate white collar suburb through his grade school years. His high school years were spent in Massachusetts at Deerfield Academy and his college years in New Hampshire at Dartmouth College. Summers he spent working in Maine, Cape Cod, and Colorado. After leaving Dartmouth with a B.A. degree in 1961 he spent a couple of years hitch-hiking around the world from Europe to The Middle East to India and Africa. He then put in a year at The Brooklyn Museum Art School. During the remainder of the 1960’s he lived in Chicago working at a variety of jobs (draftsman, carpenter, taxi driver) while beginning to exhibit professionally. By 1968 he was in Who’s Who and teaching at the University of Illinois (Chicago Circle Campus). In 1970 he retired to Northern California and built himself a house and studio where he now lives and works. Holbrook has had gallery affiliations all over the country and over 50 solo exhibitions. He has won many prizes and fellowships and executed major commissions for The Clorox Corp. and The General Services Administration (the Sacramento Federal Courthouse). He has been the subject of numerous catalogs, magazine and newspaper articles, and included in many art and painting anthologies. He has work in many major museum collections including The Oakland Museum of Art, The Springfield (MO) Museum of Art, The Boise Art Museum, The Tucson Art Museum, The Art Institute of Chicago, The Brooklyn Museum, and the Smithsonian National Collection of Fine Art.