Featured Artist Peter Dahlke
“Memento Mori”, Assemblage, 15.5”x 13”, by Peter Dahlke
The boxes he manufactures are constructed from reclaimed antique pipe organ wood that he deconstructs. Peter has a natural affinity for very old wooden surfaces and the mellow colors that time bestows upon them. Perhaps this is a result of having collected antique wooden country furniture for many decades. Then again, it may have a genetic connection in that his grandfather was a cabinetmaker.
Peter graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee in 1969 with a bachelor degree in Art Ed, followed by an MFA degree, that focused on lithography and painting. After graduation he became an art teacher with the Milwaukee Public Schools, retiring in 1997.
About eight years ago, after seeing the works of Joseph Cornell and Marcel Duchamp, he decided to venture into the realm of the assemblage sculpture. His constructions usually begin with the box into which he adds found objects, moving them around until something of visual interest begins to develop. He thinks of it as a confluence of the intuitive and the deliberative forces that reside somewhere in his being. Once he has established this nexus, he starts to permanently affix his found objects to their positions in space within the box. He uses this as a secondary point of departure. Peter has an extensive collection of interesting objects to play with as he moves forward towards a compositional resolution. He tends to work slowly, but realizes that sometimes too much contemplation stymies the creative process. Sifting and winnowing is the name of the game. Often the hardest part of making art is knowing when to stop.
The artist will participate with three other assemblage artists in a show at the Alfons Gallery in Milwaukee, WI, which runs from July 13 - September 21, 2014. Peter can be reached via e-mail at: email@example.com