University of Minnesota
Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies


  • The Aspiration Upwards

    The Aspiration Upwards

    Review by Alice Blitental, MAARIV, 18.6.1982

    Peter Boiger - The Aspiration Upwards

    Debel Gallery

    He belonged to several places, his art, however, aiming upwards, is not attached to a certain place or a specific culture. Peter Boiger, born in Germany (1941), immigrated to the USA in 1964 and came to Israel in 1979. In his present exhibit at the Rebel Gallery he shows several group's of sculptures which are unified by the aiming at a reduction of the material aspect and thus to create an increased spirituality.

    This principle is achieved mainly in the elongated compositions, sculptures which sometimes stand on one leg, thus emphasizing a vertical movement. Boiger's sculptures are powerful and express strength as he utilises the same form elements in a variation of OF creative choices and interpretations, so that the result is always different but show his definite hand-writing.

    The materials used by Boiger vary, but the final results are always of one spirit - whether he uses redwood from the California forests or aluminium, bronze, or any other material - he always prefers to use elementary forms, archaic (as used by Henry Moore), as he creates their surfaces with expressive textures,intending to stimulate and encourage the viewer to touch the work, and one always gets from his work a feeling of completeness and spirituality. Personally, I felt it was a pity to see his sculptures in small sizes, although they are monumental in form, as their power seems reduced because of their macquette-like size. In contrast, while visiting the Maiersdorf Building at the University on Mount Scopus, I could see a Boiger sculpture of a more appropriate size and there I enjoyed his creation ten times more. Boiger is an excellent sculptor, and it seems a waste of talent that no establishment or owners of big buildings have not commissioned his work on a large scale. His sculptures are not meant only to raise the level of private collections, as is shown by the sculpture on Mount Scopus.

    In his 41 years Peter Boiger has lived in three continents. When he was in Germany, where he was born as a catholic and educated in a religious environment (which today is alien to him, since he maintains he does not believe in any particular religion and believes that the source of all religions is the same), he studied sculpture and restoration of sculptures with a renowned sculptor. Be added to the many spheres of his culture by studying philosophy at the University of California at Berkeley and was also an instructor in arts and crafts in the US army, as part of his military service. His head of Martin Buber, on view at Debel, shows his interest in the teachings of the famous philosopher, not necessarily as a jew, but because of what Buber's teachings contain, and the sculpture expresses Boiger's admiration of Buber.

    Boiger's sculptures include a group which he calls "Falling Figures" which lack limbs, such as arms or legs. It is probable that beyond the intent to create compositions which rise upwards and strive towards spirituality, the lack of certain limbs evokes something else, not conscious, but only existing in the subconscious of the artist. The sculpture "Figure on One Leg", made of grayish-brown wood, one of the most beautiful, points in this direction. In other sculptures, of more abstract and pure design, the compositions create an upward motion by the use of transparent plexiglass, which connects the parts of the sculpture. Bbiger's sculptures are interesting and are only waiting to find their true form when they will be executed in their proper dimensions.