Curatorial Art Practice in London
There is more than one way of seeing syntactic works and this ambiguity adds to their richness.
(Peter Lowe in conversation with Alan Fowler, May 2005)
Based in London, Peter Lowe (born 1938) is an internationally acclaimed artist who has exhibited across the USA, Europe and Eastern Europe. His work reveals a profound theoretical and philosophical reflection on art, originally influenced by British Constructivists Mary and Kenneth Martin’s teaching at Goldsmiths’ College (1954–1960) and their personal interpretation of Cubism. Lowe had a prolific academic career; starting as art lecturer at the Leeds College of Art (1962–1964), he became teaching assistant to Kenneth Martin at Barry Summer School (1963–1968) and lecturer at Goldsmiths’ College in London (1965–2000).
After Lowe’s brief early figurative period he constructed his first painted wood black and white geometric reliefs in 1959, at the age of 21, while experimenting with transformable constructions. In the same year his work was included among the young emerging constructivist artists displayed in the major exhibition Construction England, which started in the UK and toured in the USA under the title British Constructivist Art (1961–1962).
In 1969 Lowe took part in the exhibition Systeemi in Helsinki, which led to the formation of the British group Systems. As an official member of the Systems Group, he started deepening the concepts of time, space and mathematical relations in visual art, and produced numerous drawings, computer drawings, paintings, screenprints and wooden reliefs. Besides Lowe, this group included Jeffrey Steele, Colin Jones, Malcolm Hughes, Jean Spencer, Michael Kidner, Gillian Wise, John Ernest and others. In the first half of the 1970s they held several group and individual exhibitions, notably Systems in1972 at the Whitechapel Gallery.
From 1972 to 1974 Lowe conceived the relief series volume and void – mostly painted in white or grey – and, in 1974, became an effective member of the International Labor Circle for Constructive Design.
His works have been presented in landmark group shows such as Systems (Whitechapel Gallery, 1972), PIER+OCEAN (Hayward Gallery, 1980), and Construction in Process (Lòdz, Poland 1981), and solo exhibitions in Eastern Europe, the UK and Italy, such as Volume and Void (Arte Struktura Gallery, 1990). His works are now part of major public collections in Latin America, Eastern Europe, France, Germany, Poland, Italy, and the UK, in venues including the Arts Council Collection, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Tate Britain.