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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 28, No. 8. 1965.

Peter Wichman

Peter Wichman

The exhibition of paintings by Peter Wichman held in the University from June 8 to June 11 was the painter's third exhibition and was in his opinion the most successful.

Mr. Wichman believes that the success is attributable to comments received, both critical and helpful. He believes that such comments are completely necessary in the development of young painters. Mr. Wichman has had two previous exhibitions in the Hawkes Bay area and the works on show at the third included the best of those already exhibited.

Mr. Wichman also believes that the extent to which viewers feel the same way as he about his paintings (extracting the same emotions for example), determines the success of his exhibitions. It was therefore encouraging to see the interest taken in this exhibition by students.

The paintings numbered not more than two dozen and were extremely varied in style, medium and techniques: Mr. Wichman worked in inks, watercolours, charcoals and oils. There was little extravagant use of colours: in the main sombre earthy browns, blues and reds were contrasted with the flesh whites.

Mountain Village, a water colour with simple lines, follows the style of the Futurists (or more Jacques Villon), whereas War Mother, with its circular movement and deep moor browns and reds, has Henry Moore overtones. Portrait of Billy Budd, a charcoal face study on pale blue, was quite impressive with its powerful lines. Still Life, Oil, had remarkable individuality in technique. The only real abstract was View Out Over Desert which was made up by thick oils — mainly whites—which blended to give an impressive effect. The rest of the works consisted mainly in studies of human faces with their features morbidly accentuated to portray emotion. The reflection-like repetitions were also effective.

Mr. Wichman is a firm believer that abstracts are a line in the maturity of painters; perhaps the lack of abstract works could be attributed to two factors. Firstly, he could lack the artistic confidence needed, and secondly, he may be more interested in humanism than abstraction. In the works on show he has concentrated more on the deep human aspect, and has developed his painting through reeling rather than technical education. He has also drawn from the experience of many famous painters in the galleries such as The Louvre and The Prado, which he has been fortunate enough to Visit—M. J. R. Gaffikin.