Peter Busch



In the shadows
Recently I dreamt I was standing in front of a parking lot thinking I knew the place. That was true. Only that I didn’t know it from real life but from past dreams. The parking lot stemmed from the image bank of my unconscious. While that sense of ‘I-know-that-from-somewhere’ is not a problem in a dream, looking back at it afterwards is slightly uncanny. In that moment does one dream that what one remembers, or remember that what one dreamt?
Peter Busch paints images that one believes to have seen before – somewhere or other. A tent, abandoned on the wayside, a narrow row of houses with a pond in the foreground, engulfed by rural silence. Busch sometimes chooses places that one might already have been to. Sometimes his paintings recall images from art history: the solitary house, gardens suffused by light, views of mountain peaks. Yet it remains vague where these memories come from. The depicted locations are those perceived fleetingly, in passing – in-between places – places on the periphery of human activity: the last house in the settlement, the rear side of a hotel, or a wall in the park. In all this, human beings seem to play a subsidiary part. The occasional figure moves casually through the picture, making minimal gestures. Busch chooses his images out of intuitive fascination. Often, his paintings are based on postcards and photographs taken by the artist. However, Busch never consciously goes image hunting. His work involves waiting for the moment in which the right image becomes visible. It is precisely the triviality of Busch’s scenes, which causes their evocative effect. Within themselves they tell very little. Yet, as fragments and details, they leave ample room for imagination and memory, becoming prototypes of the already seen. WhiteOnce found and selected, Busch goes about animating the images in the studio. Asked as to which colour he needs to buy most regularly, the painter answers, “White. I actually only use white, never black.” Busch mixes all of his colours – primarily blues and greens – with white. White is what lends the pictures a sense of transience. White serves to weaken and break up the starkness of the hues and colours, neutralising severe contrasts. White drapes itself over the image like a veil, while also lending it an illusion of the sublime. This serves to distance the observer from the image. The action appears removed. Resembling overexposed or faded photographs the light decomposes the information. Acrylic
On closer inspection, one notices the flatness and dullness of the paintings’ surfaces. In recent years Busch has used acrylic and dispersion paint. In contrast to more substantial oils, acrylics may be mixed with water, being runnier and quick drying. These paints engender a dull and matt facture. Busch paints on the floor, gradually applying the wet paint layer after layer. Gestural marks left by the brush to indicate the physical presence of the painter are sparse. Here too, Busch plays with a strategy of subtle opposition. Indeed, heroic painterly gestures and mad gesticulations in oils are foreign to Busch. Instead – reminiscent of his training as a stage set painter – Busch quotes the aesthetic of theatre scenery. He makes conscious reference to the temporary and provisional nature of such painting to subtly oppose notions of the painting as a fetish and artistic creation as a spectacular act. And yet … Peter Busch paints. To claim that his paintings be ‘immaterialised’ would perhaps be somewhat far-fetched. But the painter undertakes all he can in an attempt to counteract painting as a medium. And paradoxically, he achieves this with the very devices of painting. Busch counters the validity of the painted canvas with the motive of transience. He equips the canvas with forms, colour and shapes in order to represent an action. At the same time however, the simulative quality of the chosen images, the subdued palette and the renunciation of painterly pathos express Busch’s scepticism towards his own preferred medium. Busch’s work evolves from the critical interplay between fascination and sceptic reservation: Yet the scene of his investigations remains the picture.

Susan Schmidt Translated from the German by Oliver Kossack

  • 1971 born in Sonderhausen
  • 1994-2000 Studies of Painting at the Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig in the class of Prof. Arno Rink (diploma)
  • lives and woks in Leipzig

Solo shows

  • 2024 Bildwelten, Kunsthaus Salzwedel (Germany)
    Kreuz des Südens, Galerie Kleindienst, Leipzig
    Luna Park (with Sebastian Speckmann), Galerie Kleindienst, Leipzig
  • Ab durch die Hecken, Kunstverein Pritzwalk (Germany)
    Casablanca, Galerie Kleindienst, Leipzig
  • Tandaradei, Thaler Originalgrafik, Leipzig
  • 2016 Andorra, Galerie Parkhaus, Darmstadt
  • Darmstädter Bilder, Salon Käthe, Leipzig
  • 2014 Como, Gallery Kleindienst, Leipzig
  • 2012 guest, Gallery Kleindienst, Leipzig
  • 2010 bb, Gallery Kleindienst, Leipzig
  • 2009 Findling, Gallery am Ratswall, Bitterfeld
  • 2008 Salt Land, art association Pfaffenhofen a.d. Ilm
  • 2007 Hausen, Gallery Kleindienst, Leipzig
  • 2005 Peter Busch, Gallery Kleindienst, Leipzig
    Spielfeld, art association Heinsberg
  • 2002 Painting, Gallery Kleindienst, Leipzig
    Peter Busch, LIGA, Berlin
  • 2001 Diploma exhibition, Gallery Kleindienst, Leipzig

Group shows

  • 2023 Flipper, Hotel Militärkantine, St. Gallen (Switzerland)
    Busch & Becker, Galerie Parkhaus, Darmstadt
    NEW, Westside Galerie Kleindienst, Leipzig
  • 2021 Zusammengestellt, Galerie b2, Leipzig
  • NEW, Galerie Kleindienst, Leipzig
    2020 Inside, Thaler Originalgrafik, Leipzig
  • We are open, Galerie Kleindienst, Leipzig
  • Close Friends, Galerie b2, Leipzig
    NEW, Westside, Leipzig
  • 2019 Circlus, Thaler Originalgrafik, Leipzig
  • 2018 Painting from Leipzig, Antonio Colombo, Milan
  • Vierundzwanzigmaldreissig, Thaler Originalgrafik, Leipzig
  • 2017 Pentomino #4, Thaler Originalgrafik, Leipzig
  • 2016 Pentomino #3, Thaler Originalgrafik, Leipzig
  • 2015 Leipzig 2015. Hildebrand Collection, G2 Kunsthalle, Leipzig
  • Rauchende Bucht, Kunstverein Pritzwalk
    Vertraute Gesellschaft, Thaler Originalgrafik, Leipzig
    Pentomino, Thaler Originalgrafik, Leipzig
  • 2014 Förderankäufe der Kulturstiftung Sachsen, Vertretung des Freistaates Sachsen beim Bund, Berlin
  • BGL#1, Kesselhaus, Bergisch Gladbach / Köln
    saxonia paper II, Kunsthalle der Sparkasse, Leipzig
    WIN/Win - Die Ankäufe der Kulturstiftung Sachsen 2014, Halle 14, Leipzig
    Mensch werde wesentlich, Kunstverein FAK, Zwickau
  • 2013 Flour and clay, Statusclub, Leipzig
    Long live the painting, Art collection Essl, Klosterneuburg
  • 2012 Der gemalte Raum, Essl Museum Klosterneuburg bei Wien
    Leipzig Art Panorama, Seongnam Art Center, Seoul (Southkorea)
    The Future Lasts Forever, In.ter.alia, Seoul (Southkorea)
    German now - from Leipzig, Seongnam Art Center, Seoul (Southkorea)
  • 2011 Convoy Leipzig, Biksady Gallery, Budapest
  • 2008 Melt down, Gallery b2, Leipzig
    Drawcula, Gallery Kleindienst, Leipzig
    New Leipzig School, Cobra Museum, Amstelveen
  • 2006 Leipzig select, Barbara Davis Gallery, Houston
    Update East – West, Pintura Allemania de Vanguardia en el MACUF
    Hitch Hiking, Kantor/Feuer Gallery Los Angeles
    Made in Leipzig – Pictures of a city, Essl Collection, Klosterneuburg
    Sonner or later, Laden für nichts, Leipzig
  • 2005 Leipzig New School, Kunstforum Essenheim, Essenheim
    Day Sleepers, art forum Vienna
    Same eye level, Gallery Schlag, Essen
    Convoi 11, art association Bayreuth
  • 2003 Grasland, Gallery Wassermann, Munich
    Young art from Leipzig, LIGA, Berlin
    Art association Neustadt
    Gallerie Nicolai Wallner, Kopenhagen
    Seven times painting, Museum of Visual Arts Leipzig
  • 2002 Leipsic larks, City gallery and art association Speyer
    Bald, LIGA, Berlin
  • 2001 Leipzig painters, Gallery Markt Bruckmühl
  • 1999 Mike, Leipzig
  • 1998 Silver, Leipzig
    Young Art, Gallery Kleindienst, Leipzig


  • 2015 35x35 Art Project Vol. II (catalog), Copelouzos Family Art Museum, Athens
  • 2012 The Future Lasts Forever (catalog) , in.ter.alia, Seoul (South Korea)
    German Now, From Leipzig (catalog), Seongnam Arts Center and UNC Galerie, Seoul (South Korea)
  • 2011 Convoy Leipzig (catalog), Biksady Gallery, Budapest
  • 2006 Made in Leipzig (catalog), Collection Essl Klosterneuburg/Vienna
  • 2005 Peter Busch - Playground (catalog), Gallery Kleindienst, Leipzig
  • 2003 Peter Busch - Paintings (catalog), Gallery Kleindienst, Leipzig
    Sieben mal Malerei, Catalog, Museum of Fine Arts, Leipzig