'Portrait of Smiling Figure' by Peter Robert Keil (1985)
'Portrait of Smiling Figure', oil on board, by Peter Robert Keil (1985). Big, bold with brash brush strokes painted in exuberant colours is the trademark of the artist. Strangers, friends, acquaintances and imagined characters all appear as subjects in his vivacious artworks. Perhaps Keil's artworks conjure the spirit of pre-war Berlin. It was a time of anxiety, but also a time for hedonism, sexual liberties and artistic experimentation. In that period between the wars, Berlin was known to be a place that broke the social conventions of its era. The only constraints here are the boundaries of the painted surface. The work is in fair overall condition and has been newly framed in a tray. Please note: The previous owner used light metal retainers to keep the picture in place in the frame. As he perforated the rear of the artwork surface it left six round 'dimples' on the right, left, top and bottom centre. They will not affect your enjoyment of the painting. The price has been reduced accordingly. The artist signed the work in the lower right corner and dated it '85. Please enjoy the many photos accompanying the listing. Upon request, a video may be provided.
About the Artist: Peter Robert Keil (born 1942) was the son of an artist blacksmith whom he lost early in his childhood. His mother, also artistically inclined, took her son and struggled her way to West Berlin where they settled. This is where Peter Robert Keil discovered his interest in painting – particularly in expressionist artists and in Picasso's work in particular. From 1954 on, the East Berlin-based painter, Otto Nagel became his mentor and taught him first craft skills and painting techniques. In 1954, he began his traineeship as an artist metalworker and between 1959 and 1961, he studied at the University of Fine Art in Berlin. During his time in Mallorca, he met with Joan Miró in his studio several times. From the early 60s on, Keil established studios in Paris, London, Berlin and in the US. Today he mainly lives and works in Zimmerau (Bavaria, Germany), Berlin and the United States.
In the beginnings of his artistic career, Keil's style was influenced by German expressionism. In the works from his early Berlin years, he mainly focused on typical big city settings and characters on the fringes of society. However, his style changed visibly at the beginning of the 60s when he lived in Paris for a while and emerged in the city's nightlife. Keil increasingly parted with his realistic approach and developed a new, much more spontaneous and dynamic painting style which he developed further during his years in London and finally during his time as one of the "Berliner Neue Wilden" (Berlin Fauvists) at the beginning of the 80s. Since then, the use of intensive to lurid colours and the absence of realistic representation have become characteristic of his painting style. His emotional way of painting is mainly driven by a desire for freedom from social constraints and conventions. In the past 50 years, he has created numerous large and small scale paintings in oil and mixed media on canvas but also some sculptures in wood and steel and a great number of majolicas.
Dimensions with Frame:
H 41.6 cm / 16.4"
W 31.7 cm / 12.5"
Dimensions without Frame:
H 40 cm / 15.7"
W 30 cm / 11.8"