Peter Takal was born in Romania, lived and worked in Berlin in the 1920s. He worked as an artist and actor in Paris in the 1930s. At the start of the 2nd World War (1939), he moved to New York and became an American citizen in 1944.
He will be appreciated internationally for his drawings in felt and ink, as well as for his prolific engravings. A surrealist connotation is present in all of his work. Subjects will range from Parisian street scenes to the linear imagination of plant and landscape life, after he acquired a farm in eastern Pennsylvania in 1945.
Takal’s career, which spans seven decades, includes more than 100 solo exhibitions in the United States and Europe. His work is represented in more than 100 public collectives including the Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney and Metropolitan Museum of art, as well as many important museums.
With over 1,500 drawings, tables, books, sketchbooks and archival materials, the Arkansas Art Center has the largest and most comprehensive collection of Takal’s work.
Takal’s art is inspired by the universality that ties everything together. According to him, everything must respond to a moment of truth. The invisible found in Takal a magnificent interpreter. Its visual representation always results from a secret meeting between the mysterious powers which govern the visible and invisible world.
For Takal, realism and surrealism interact in total harmony. In the movement of the lines, mysterious relationships are born. Forms, spaces stretch endlessly, beaches of silence, journeys of interior life reach the discovery of deep meanings hidden under appearances which open onto another reality.
Takal’s mind is constantly in step with the times. He never succumbed to fashions, to the changing moods of the public and if he could sometimes be in conflict with events, his mind was always contemporary. He stayed true to himself, always had ideas in mind to reconcile what his eyes see, his interpreting spirit and his hands direct. It’s no accident that Takal’s work suggests more than he proclaims, is discreet more than pompous. While limiting itself, it explores with so much depth that it approaches infinity.