Sculptor, photograph. He and his wife Ritzi Jacobi elaborated a series of monumental tapestries. Named by the artist as textile reliefs, these pieces highlight the artist’s concern for sculpture and tactility. Stylistically, his sculpture fits in the abstractionist current . he is concerned with simplicity and formal asceticism. Speech centered on the idea of caducity, of irreversible passage of time.
Figurative sculptor career, in 1960 its marked by the apprenticeship in Baraschi’s workshop and by the stonemasons lesson from the Ciuta village, near Magura (deep connection of the local sculpture and Peter Jacobi’s sculpture with funeral art) and Brancusi’s model which he discovers at Targu Jiu (can be found in modular columns series) and by the Henry Moore exhibition at Bucharest, 1966. In Craiova, he makes figurative sculptures, the first shapes of the draped torsos, and here he receives the first command for a monumental art work. Having an autodidact spirit, Peter Jacobi constantly sought the anchorage in the international context, taking his information from the few foreign publications that he had access in Romania at that time. The collaboration with Ritzi Jacobi and the intuition of an essential change in the international textile art in 1960 led to the apparition of the first sculptural tapestry shape.
His international affirmation has occurred rapidly, and the period of political change in Romania favoured the presence of the foreign collectors and galerists (the contact with Richard Demarco was very important) as well as sending the “experimental” art abroad, at foreign important artistic manifestations. The Jacobs will remain in the Occident after the Venetian Biennale in 1970 and they settle in the German Republic Federation, where they will continue the collaboration regarding the textile art projects. In 1960 was a global scale rebel against the traditional tapestry style, highly refined, (smooth tissue picture, with an ornamental-decorative composition) which is replaced by a distinct and art innovating domain. The Jacobis’ worsk will fit into this current, having an experimental pointed out character through the used materials (at first, goat’s hair which gave the works a certain texture, then wire braids, manual coloured feathers, textile cables, metal, wood, synthetics, paper, all of which gave volume) as well as through the proposed shapes (textile reliefs which slowly evolved towards tridimensional compositions, free autonomous and spatial shapes). The result was pointed as monumental works, as well as daily out of use objects: clothes, chairs. The tactile qualities of the tapestries can be found in the rice paper drawings at the beginning of the 1970, paintings which are exposed alongside the tapestries in the exhibition rooms, as well as in “Soft” forms in marble, worked by Peter between 1973 and 1976. These marble reliefs represent an unique rapport to Pop generation, more precisely to Claes Oldenburg, from which he takes the soft sculpture principle. Using a “noble” and hard material – the marble, on which he imprints the sensation of soft and fragile, the artist manages to deflect the oldenburgian irony. When the marble’s surface is suggesting the body, it will gain mark and molding qualities. Organic elements having their source in the anthropomorphic reliefs in the marble and in the rice paper drawings, at the beginning of the ’70 are starting to be transposed from 2009 in columns and ring structures, vertical elevated.
Peter’s alienation from the figurative forms, was carried out under Brancusi’s influence. The ring structures and the modular columns have some kind of recurrence in his art, although, every piece of work has different date of location, material, dimensions and signification. The columns are of two types: “Italian” – in which he uses a venetian and brancusian architectural ground – actually a deconstruction of Brancusi’s column, reversing the emptiness with fullness ( the volume of the module created by Brancusi becomes an empty space, determined by 4 arches). The geometry and the formal purity of the constructive elements have balanced the textile works and marble reliefs in the artistic route of Peter.
Arrived in Germany at the beginning of the ‘70s, the artist discovers the remains of the Second World War. A part of the realized sculptures contain the dominating memory theme and the traumatizing eveniment theme found in the memorials and some photographic series. The images from the Linia Siegfield series(Westwall) (1979-1983) capture the sculptural quality of some war remains. Bunkers, trenches, anti-tank lines, lakes, hills of debris are composing a scenography in which the way of framing and the light accents the forms of sculpture. The sculptural vision returns in the photographic series from 2003-2004 (resumed in 2013), dedicated to the fortified churches in Transylvania. The balanced frames, the geometries, the proportions play, the inspiration quality of some ruins, the search for abstract forms, are transforming these spaces – although recovered through photography – into monumental sculptures.
The sepulchral tendencies – the mark of the traditional handicraft of the sculptor – it reaffirms in the Inteligende Skulpturen series(1980-1981) stone forms with minimalist aspect which brings the idea of coffin, in the photographic series dedicated to the graves of some famous Romanians (George Enescu, Dinu Lipatti, Emil Cioran, Paul Celan, Eugene Ionesco, George Apostu, Ilarie Voronca, Tristan Tzara, Georges Brassai…) in the “earth sculpture” type of installation, as well as the one made in 1995 at Talau, Waiblingen, and in the memorial projects.
He devotes memorials to the Second World War, in which the idea of the tombal open space through the destruction of the stone that covers the grave, minimalistic forms of some body recipients which have disappeared, but continue to be commemorated, , it’s completed by the idea of an open space, of pavilion type with Arab and Indian architecture influences which offers visibility over a certain space.
The Holocaust Memorial, inaugurated at Bucharest in 2009, represents a syntheses moment:
A sculpture-architecture which defines itself as a route and a site, a conceptual and formal approach in which elements from the entire artistic route of Peter can be identified: the modular column, the ring sculptures, the idea of tomb. The interior is a scenographic space which allows the illusionist development of signs: the light itself is a plastic phenomenon, the way in which it crosses the ceiling introducing in the installation the time passing thematic.
Located in the confluence zone of numerous artistic dencencies from the contemporary art, Peter Jacobi has succeeded - through theme modulation – building a coherent artistic route. Although futuristic modern by the experimental tendencies – the cultural quote from the classic monumental recommends him as artist post-mortem.
(Ploieşti, 1935; from 1970 he is established in Germany)
1954 - 1961 - Institute of Fine Arts "Nicolae Grigorescu" Constantin Baraschi, Bucharest;
1971 - 1998 - professor at the "Hochschule für Gestaltung", Pforzheim, Germany.
Solo exhibitions (selections):
1963 – Plastic Artists' Union Gallery, Craiova;
1965 - Simeza Gallery, Bucharest;
1970 - Romanian Pavilion at the Venetian Biennale, Italy;
1971 - Galleria L'Ariete *, Milan, Italy;
1976, 1977 - Städtische Kunsthalle*, Mannheim, Germany;
1977 - Staatlichen Kunsthalle*, Baden-Baden, Germany;
1978 - Bellerive Museum*, Zürich, Switzerland;
1980 - National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia;
- The National Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, Australia;
- Sydney, Coventry Gallery (itinerant exhibition)*, Australia;
1981 - The Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, SUA;
- Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, SUA;
- Moore College of Art Gallery and Philadelphia College of Art Gallery, Philadelphia, SUA;
- The Los Angeles County Museum of Art* (itinerant exhibition), Los Angeles, SUA;
1982 - Nordjyllands Kunstmuseum*, Aalborg, Denmark;
- Liljevalchs Konsthall*, Stockholm, Sweden;
1984 - Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris*, France;
- Galérie Nationale d’Art Textile*, Beauvais, France;
1993 - Peter Jacobi. Sculpture and Photography, Artexpo Gallery, Round Hall, Bucharest;
1993, 1994 - Museum of Art, Craiova;
1994 - The Art Museum, Brasov;
- National Art Museum Brukenthal, Sibiu;
- Bistrita County Museum;
- National Museum of Art, Cluj-Napoca;
- Banat Museum (itinerant exhibition), Timisoara;
1996 - Month of Photography, Gallery in the Zicho palác, Bratislava, Slovakia;
1999 - Peter Jacobi. Columns, Memorials, Center of Polish Sculpture, The Museum of Polish Sculpture, Oronsko, Poland;
- Kunstforum Ostdeutsche Galerie (itinerant exhibition), Regensburg, Germany;
2002 - Peter Jacobi Retrospective Exhibition, National Art Museum of Romania,Bucharest;
2006 - Stiftung für Konkrete Kunst, Roland Phleps, Freiburg i. Br., Germany;
2008 - National History Museum of Romania, Bucharest;
2009 - Peter Jacobi - Bilder einer Reise, Donauschwaebisches Zentralmuseum, Ulm, Germany;
- Peter Jacobi - Bilder einer Reise”, Europaeisches Melanchton Akademie, Bretten, Germany;
- Peter Jacobi - Bilder einer Reise. Siebenbuergische Wehrkirchen Fotografien, curator Albrecht Esche, Gasteig Bad-Boll, Evangelische Akademie, München, Germany;
2010, 2011 - Abwesend anwesend / Present in Absence, curator Isabel Greschat, Pforzheim Galerie, Germany;
2011 - Peter Jacobi: Stillleben nach dem Exodus-Siebenbürger Wehrkirchen / Still Life After the Exodus. Fortified Churches in Transylvania, curator Gerhard Baral, Phorzheim, Germany;
- Peter Jacobi: Skulpturales Sehen / Sculptural Vision, curator Bettina Schönfelder, Kunstverein Pforzheim, Germany;
- Das schöne bäuerliche Kleid der Städterin/The City Woman`s Beautiful Peasant Dress, curator Pia, Volksbank Forum, Moosmann, Pforzheim, Germany;
2012 - Beautiful peasant clothes of ladies from town, Romanian Peasant Museum, Bucharest;
2013 - Gallery "Emilia Suciu", Ettlingen, Germany.
Group exhibitions (selections):
1967 - 9. Biennale, Kunsthistorische Musea Middelheim. Openluchtmuseum voor Beeldhouwkunst, Antwerpen, Belgium;
1968 - Bauzentrum, Hamburg, Germany (with Paul Neagu, Ion Bitzan and Ritzi Jacobi);
1968 - „Richard Demarco” Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland;
- Art Gallery and Museum, Aberdeen, Scotland (with Paul Neagu, Ion Bitzan and Ritzi Jacobi - itinerant exhibition *)
1968 - IV Mostra Internat. di Scultura al Aperto, Museo di Arte Moderna, Legnano Castellanza, Italy;
1971 - Power Request Exhibition, Power Institute of Fine Arts, Sydney, Australia;
- Deliberate Entanglement, County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, SUA;
- Frederick S. Wight Gallery of University of California, California Palace of the Legion of Honour, San Francisco, SUA;
- Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, SUA;
- Museum of Fine Arts, Salt Lake City, SUA;
- Vancouver, Art Gallery (itinerant exhibition)*;
1973 - 12. Biennale - Arte Communication*, São Paolo, Brazil;
1976 - Fiber Works, Europe and Japan, The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, Japan*;
1977 - The National Museum of Modern Art (itinerant exhibition), Tokio, Japan*;
1984 - Kunstlandschaft Bundesrepublik, Stuttgart, Germany;
- Wuerttembergischer Kunstverein, Germany;
- Muzeul „Frankfurt Kunstverein”, Germany;
- Kasseler Kunstverein, Kassel, Germany;
- Kunstverein e.V. Offenbach, Offenbach;
- Dreidimensional, Aktuelle Kunst aus der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum, Wiesbaden, Duisburg, Germany;
- Kunsthalle, Mannheim, Germany;
- The National Museum of Modern Art (expoziţie itinerantă), Tokio, Japan;
1985 - Visages contemporains de la sculpture en Europe, Musée de Maubeuge, Maubeuge, France;
1986 - Concrete, Helsingfors Festspel (Helsinki Festival), Sculpture Symposium, Helsinki, Finland;
1991, 1996 - Skulptur in Stadtbild / public space, Karlsruhe, Germany;
1994 - Kunst macht Natur, Natur macht Kunst, Talaue Park, Waiblingen, Germany;
1995, 1996 - Technik, Techno, Wuerttembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart, Germany;
1996 - La figure d'homme dans la photographie, FRAC , La Filature, Mulhouse, France;
- Hall und das Salz, Museum Johanniterhalle, Schwäbisch Hall, Germany;
- Skulptur Südwest - Dreidimensionale Kunst im Südwesten, Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe, Germany;
1998 - International Sculpture Symposium, Icheon, South Korea;
- The Yuzi Paradise Sculpture Parc, Guilin, China;
2000 - Prolidice, Grafische Sammlung, Villa Merkel, Esslingen, Germany;
2004 - Opening exhibition of the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest;
2006 - Final selection for the Olympic Games Sculpture Park, Beijing, China;
2008 - Sculpture Building opened in "The Forest Sculpture Park Beijing" opened during the Olympics, China;
2009 - Bunker-Ästhetik, Wandelhalle, Bad Wildungen, Germany.
Communication sessions and workshops held at:
1973 - Dear Isle Main, Haistack School of Art and Craft, UK*
1975 - Penland, North Carolina, School of Art and Craft*
1977 - Academy of Art, Cranbrook, SUA*;
- School of Art and Design, Boston, SUA*;
- The Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland. SUA*;
- Alexander Mackie College, School of Art and Design, Szdnez, Australia*;
- School of Art, Canberra, Australia*;
- Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology - Faculty of Design, Melbourne, Australia*;
- Preston Institute, College of Art, Melbourne, Australia*;
1980 - Bloomfield Hills, Cranbrook Academy of Art. Cranbrook (Detroit), SUA*;
- University of Michigan, School of Art and Design, Ann Arbor, SUA*;
- The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, SUA*;
- Centre of Creative Studies, College of Art and Design, Detroit, SUA*;
1981 - College of Art, Philadelphia, SUA*;
1982 - Kunstakademie, Stockholm, Sweden*;
1984 - Banff Art Center, Banff, Canada*;
1995 - Table of Silence (together with cu H. Ben Tre, C. Boshier, W. Brotherston, J. Gibbons, P. Galleran, D. Grigorescu, P. Neagu, D. Pontereau, L. Zogmayer, N. Tiron, M. Buculei, V. Gorduz, Moon Seup), Bucharest;
1996, 1999 - Heriot-Watt-University, College of Art, External Examiner, Edinburgh, Scotland;
1999 - University of Guanxi, Art Academy, Guilin, China;
2010 - National University of Arts, Bucharest.
* With Ritzi Jacobi
Works in public collections (selections) :
- Nordjyllands Kunstmuseum, Aalborg, Denmark;
- Schlossmuseum, Aschaffenburg, Germany;
- National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest;
- National Museum of Art of Romania, Bucharest;
- Holocaust Memorial, Bucharest;
- Romanian Academy Library, Bucharest;
- Romanian Literature Museum, Bucharest;
- Museum of Art, Craiova;
- The Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, SUA;
- Museum für Moderne Kunst, Freiburg i.Br.;
- Yuzi Paradise Sculpture Park and Sculpture Centre, Guilin, China;
- Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, Germany;
- Staedtische Museen, Heilbronn, Germany;
- Collection Teraesbetony oy, Helsinki, Finland;
- Badisches Landesmuseum, Karlsruhe;
- The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, Japan;
- Sonnenplatz, Lahr, Germany;
- Czech Republic Museum, Lidice;
- Kunsthalle, Mannheim, Germany;
- Skulpturenmuseum Glaskasten, Marl;
- Mulhouse, Franţa, Galérie Municipale
- Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France;
- Kunstforum Museum Ostdeutsche Galerie, Regensburg, Germany;
- Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna, Roma, Italy;
- National Art Museum Brukental, Sibiu;
- Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart, Germany;
- Wuerttembergisches Landesmuseum, Stuttgart, Germany;
- Power Gallery of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia;
- Museum des 20. Jahrhunderts, Viena, Austria.
- Berlin Kunsgewerbemuseum;
- National Museum of Art, Bucharest;
- National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest.
1980 - Premio Arte Communication, Bienala de la São Paolo, Brazil.
Vlasiu, Ioana (coord.), Dicționarul sculptorilor din România. Secolele XIX-XX, vol. II, lit. H-Z, Editura Academiei Române, București, 2011.
Şuşară Pavel, Peter Jacobi şi sculptura în timp, în „România literară”, nr. 20, 2007.
Schönfelder Bettina, Bauerle-Willert Dorothée, Greschat Isabel: Peter Jacobi, Heidelberg, 2010.
Alain Monvoisin, Dictionaire International de la Sculpture Moderne & Contemporaine, Editions du Regard, 2008, Paris, pg. 266
Catalogul general al expozitiei de Sculptrura din cadrul Olimpiadei de la Beijing The Forest Sculpture Garden, Beijing, 2008
Badische Neueste Nachrichten (ziar supraregional), "Spuren des Schmerzes" Werke von Peter Jacobi in der Galerie Suciu in Ettlingen, 26.03.2013