Peter Collis RHA

25 Feb - 13 March 2010

The Peppercanister Gallery presents oil paintings by the well known and much loved artist Peter Collis, who will be  81 years old this year. This exhibition will be comprised of large Landscapes and Still Lifes. Over the years the  artist has captured the Irish landscape in its varying moods from Muckish Mountain in Donegal, to the Sugar Loaf in Co.Wicklow. The exhibition will also include views of Connemara and Co.Cork. Peter Collis’s paintings are instantly recognizable and very individual and occupy an important position in the canon of modern Irish painting.

Many years ago, Peter’s wonderful wife Ann, captured the young man across the water, and brought him back to Ireland. Since then, he has faithfully captured on canvas the Irish landscape, for the last half century. The winding road and the valley in the middle ground beneath a looming mountain are his stock-in-trade. He has an individual colour sense, tending towards darker tones. In a sense he is the surviving successor to Paul Henry and even Jack B. Yeats, both of whom portrayed the Irish landscape, particularly the West of Ireland before Jack Yeats moved on to a more expressionistic style of painting. Many of these fine traditional Collis landscapes seem to have been painted out-of-doors in front of the views. In fact, Peter used to tour the country in his van, making small sketches on the spot, and working up the large paintings in his studio afterwards, using the sketches as references.

There is another important aspect of his art, and that is his delight in painting still life. When unable to drive into the countryside, he is happy to arranger still life compositions of fruit and assorted bottles and jars in his studio, and to paint them at his ease. He would probably acknowledge here a debt of homage to the great Cezanne, who painted so many superb studies of apples, when he was not portraying his beloved Mont St.Victoire. Peter Collis also has his own special mountain, the Sugar Loaf in County Wicklow, and it appears time and again in his landscapes nearer to home.