On a Hot Summer day

Peter Frie (b. 1947, Sweden) can on easily recognise as a successor of the landscape painters of Romanticism. A contemporary artist, he on the other hand also represents abstract thinking.  Instead of merely stopping to record a specific landscape or particular place, his works rise to a position of metaphorical mindscapes. Frie’s paintings were exhibited in the Serlachius Museums’ exhibition Summer Days in 2017. Two paintings of his were comprised into Serlachius art collection. 

In the 19th century Romanticism, landscape painting became the most important motif. Perter Frie acknowledges his debt not only to John Constable and William Turner wo created immortal classic pieces of landscape art, but also to Scandinavian artists from Edvard Munch and Erland Josephson to Augusta Strindberg and Richard Bergh, in all of who’s painting the emotional landscape is very much present.

In accordance with the 19th century requirements, Peter Frie is not a plain air painter. Rather than duplicating the images of places, he paints views based on his memory. Frie was awarded Ars Fennica  about ten years ago. Already then, he has reduced his expression to a dialogue between earth and sky. As he moved to the west Coast of Sweden after living for a while in Germany, he at same time returned to the happy moments of his childhood.

The landscapes seemed familiar and released remote memories of walking trips he had made with his mother to the surrounding nature. His mother died of a serious illness when Frie was just fourteen years old. The landscape reopens the connection to the lost mother and connects the nature experience into stability and comfort. Peter Frie started to paint after his mother’s death and painting became a way to handle loneliness and pain. The paintings have nostalgic sad feature. Frie prefers to paint rather moments of dusk than bright sunlight, rather threat of thunder than light summer days.

Frie’s landscape is never wild and untouched. It is often a smoothly rolling cultivated soil in which the horizon is low and in which the sky and clouds reach out to heights. One can see no buildings nor other signs of human presence. A successful painter, Fire has travelled a lot and painted in several countries and continents. The landscapes painted in Finland are often mysterious studies of the light of summer nights, full of cold light – the sky can present itself as off-yellow, dim sanguine or bright blue. The edge of the forest hover as greyish black areas and the surface of the lake is still. Frie finds that these serious and closed paintings are very Finnish in nature.

Peter Frie borders his landscapes with white canvas or cardboard. They form a part of the artwork. Unlike his paragons, he does not consider the landscape as a window to nature. His landscapes are records of his memories. Frie has stated that he travels into landscapes that suit his state of mind.

Tarja Talvitie
Head of Collections

Peter Frie, Heat Painting #4, 2016–2017, oil on canvas, Gösta Serlachius Fine Arts Foundation. Photo: Teemu Källi.
Peter Frie, Heat Painting #4, 2016–2017, oil on canvas, Gösta Serlachius Fine Arts Foundation. Photo: Teemu Källi.