Peter Zimmermann was born in 1956 in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Stuttgart from 1979 to 1984 and at the time of his graduation his focus was on abstract painting.
After his studies he settled in Cologne, where he has been working and living ever since. At that time Cologne was the centre of the visual arts world in Germany. The rediscovery of painting was in the spotlight as an answer to a cultural period in which the various forms of conceptual art predominated. Painters known as the ‘New Wild’ in a sense returned to a figurative visual language expressed with the large expressionist gestures of the artist.
Peter Zimmermann is connected to this development in a unique way. On the one hand he leaves the abstraction but on the other hand he chooses a conceptual approach with regard to his subjects. For example, at that time he ‘investigates’ the relationship between text, meaning and image and paints canvases from the covers of dictionaries, travel guides and atlases.
As digital culture is becoming more and more prominent, Zimmermann again takes a conceptual approach to this. He isolates and preserves digital parts of images he finds on the internet that inspire him. He then projects the colour and lines onto a two-dimensional surface and starts painting the image with epoxy resin. On the one hand the smooth and highly reflective tableaux works are alienating but on the other hand Zimmermann wants to let them coincide with the transformed visual language of our contemporary digital culture. At the same time, he creates once again large abstract paintings.
When Peter Zimmermann covers floors with these highly reflective ‘paintings’, the viewer participates even more in the virtual reality that the artist has created and is incorporated, as it were, into a new landscape.