Born in 1933 in Germany, Peter Kalkhof studied painting at the School of Arts and Crafts, Braunschweig and the Academy of Fine Art, Stuttgart followed by time spent in London at the Slade School of Art and École des Beaux-Arts in Paris in the early 1960’s. In 1963 he settled in London and from 1964 (through to 1999) he taught Fine Art at Reading University.
During this period he increasingly came into contact with C20th avant-garde art movements which had a profound effect on him and which he formulated into the basis of his art; “Colour & Space”. Rooted not only in the northern-romantic tradition (one of his favourite paintings was “Monk by the Sea” by Caspar David Friedrich) he was also deeply influenced by the transcendental abstractions of artists like Malevich, Kandinsky and Rothko, which expanded and questioned his classic-modernist training.
From an early age, Kalkhof's interest was stimulated by all things colourful in nature or in man-made objects. His use of formal elements of straight and curved line and painted colour fields in grids, circles and squares, have been distinctive pictorial features in his work over the last 59 years and although his compositions are abstract, his forms have been drawn from his experience and observations of the real world.
Kalkhof constantly references our attention to historically resonant, well-established notions of forms and primary colours in art which have existed in many cultures and periods historically. Kalkhof expresses a particular interest and curiosity in the art of ancient and modern cultures outside Europe, especially the Orient. These cultures and in particular their use of geometry in their image making, filter into his work through his use of colour and form.
Annely Juda Fine Art first showed Peter Kalkhof in 1970, the first of some ten solo exhibitions of his work over a period spanning five decades. Throughout his career he also had other exhibitions in the UK and frequently with galleries in Germany including solo, group and curated shows in Stuttgart, Karlsruhe and Dusseldorf. Kalkhof’s works have been widely collected by public galleries and museums including; the Arts Council of Great Britain, the Contemporary Art Society, Reading Museum and Art Gallery in the UK and the Landesmuseum Oldenburg in Germany and the European Parliament, Strasbourg. Peter Kalkhof died in 2014, aged 81.