An abstract artist invites us to take in the whole, to let it wash over our senses, the forms and colours and lines, the totality of the painting evoking a range of subtle emotions. Our eyes and our brains search the image for a reference, a thing we might recognize, a horizon, a human face. Finding none we fall back to seeing the whole. If it's not good it becomes merely decoration and we move on. If it is good we fall into it each time we look.
Realism flirts with another kind of danger. We immediately see the objects, recognizing and naming them, and then notice how deliciously and skillfully each is rendered. "Amazing. How life-like," we say, or "It looks like a photograph." And if it doesn't come alive we move on for we've seen this trick before.
Peter Fischer flirts with danger.
Fischer's landscapes overcome this danger with unusual compositions, a palette chosen for mood rather than accuracy, drama in the sky and shadows - and though there is seldom wind or movement in his work a mist appears to tell us this painting is alive.