Peter Horn



(l) “Prater 1” (2010) 100cm x 80cm
(r) “A gloomy dusk breaks up the wall” (2011) 100cm x 80cm

Peter Horn’s Statement

After twenty years of travelling through the boundless Universe I have come back to Earth again. A new theme took hold of me, marked by imponderability and mystification of the object I intend to weave. The subject of my tapestry weaving is not any more moving in extraterrestial regions but has become man on Earth and his sentiments. When being occupied with 19th century art theory I very easily found myself close to a romantic tradition. Imponderability as well as mystification have been essential procedures of art, literature and music, as well as man and their feelings throughout this century.

I choose a different way of finding the design for my new tapestries. I now take the images from photographs I produce myself in great numbers. The way they are produced is the following: I visit several everyday or special events as concerts, exhibitions, supermarkets, or simply go through the streets in the twilight, always with my small digital camera in my right hand. Those are places where I cannot expect much light, and that supports my photographic intentions and the procedure of taking pictures: as I need longer exposure time and as I suffer from a slight tremor that lets my hand shake I take photographs which are more or less out of focus. And as I do not look through the viewfinder while taking my photos the results are accidental. What satisfies me most of all is that many of these photographs contain a high level of ambiguity, infiniteness, and when they are good they are mysterious. It is the greatest adventure for me to transpose these designs into a tapestry: a technical as well as an artistic challenge.

Peter Horn, "Prater 2" (2012), 200cm x 160cm
“Prater 2” (2012) 200cm x 160cm

Peter Horn’s Biography

I was born in Kiel in 1936. I started tapestry weaving at the age of 15. I studied at Kiel University to train to be a teacher for English and Geography and in 1959-60 at Queen’s College, University of  London. After my return from England I turned intensively to drawing, painting and, most of all, tapestry. From 1970 on I taught the subjects of textile crafts and later also art, on the teacher training course at the Pädagogische Hochschule Kiel, and later at Kiel University, passing on my skills and experience in  several artistic disciplines, but  especially of tapestry, to many students. My studio work as a tapestry weaver took the place of a second career, parallel to my day job, resulting in a combination which, due to many overlaps within the artistic disciplines, made for intensive and satisfying work.

In 2001 I retired from my day job which meant that I intensified tapestry weaving. Since the 1970’s, I have taken part in numerous national and international exhibitions and carried out six individual exhibitions. In 1998 I was invited on the jury of the 9th International Tapestry Triennial Lodz/Poland, and in 2002 I was European juror for the 4th American Tapestry Biennial. In 2004 I was juror of  “Karpit 2” in Budapest/Hungary. I was awarded prizes in Gdynia and Lódz (Poland).