As a geographer, and with nature being her main inspiration, Petra Gimmi often works on her paintings like the elements of nature do on a landscape: Her paintings experience flood and drought, new material is accumulated and shifted, layers of paint are eroded like layers of rock, she looks for transparency as if looking deep into a body of water, she makes the colours fan out like in a prism or in a raindrop in the atmosphere.
She moves in between the abstract and the figurative - what you see might remind you of the physical world, but her intent is not to mirror nature, but to work in the living, like nature.
Petra Gimmi grew up in the south of Germany, in the rough, remote and beautiful landscape called “Schwäbische Alb”, full of rocks, beech forests and juniper heath. She has always had a deep connection to nature, and at the same time an urge to get even closer to it. For her, the artistic process is one of the ways she follows that desire.
She first studied geography and got to know the elements of nature and the interconnection between rock, soil, landscape, atmosphere, climate, water, plants, animals and humans. While she appreciated this knowledge (and the perfect reason for extensive travels her studies gave her), the realisation that just knowing and seeing were not enough, but left the actual secret untouched, lead her to study art.
So in her artwork, Petra Gimmis focus is to get closer to that secret, to examine the living, all of live, and our place in the ever changing world. She aims to “enter into the thick of things”, to use Paul Auster’s words, and also to bring the freshness and wideness of that encounter to the viewers of her works.
“I don’t want my work to dominate the room, but to open up new spaces.
A new space in the life of everyone looking at it, a sense of possibilities
Even that which weighs heavily can unfold its own beauty if it is given this wide space.”
Born in 1972, grown up in Schwäbische Alb in the south of Germany. 2 children.
Lives and works on Lake Constance.
1993-1999 Geography studies, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München/ Diplom
2000-2003 Visual Art studies with Denis Emmelin, Freie Hochschule Efringen-Kirchen/ Diplom
Since 2003 Artistic work
Since 2016 Lecturer for art courses, Bodenseekreis
2018-2019 Master Art Education, Freie Hochschule Stuttgart
2004 Autumn exhibition, Kunsthalle Kleinschönach, Germany
„Ring twice in urgent cases – paintings and patience in
Iceland", Galerie Skriduklaustur, Iceland, solo exhibition
Spring exhibition, Kunsthalle Kleinschönach, Germany
2006 Group Show Landratsamt Marktoberdorf, Germany
Gallery Siopa Cill Rialaig, Ballinskelligs, Ireland
„Kunstkraftwerk“ Kunsthallen am Lech, Füssen, Germany
2007 Group Show Gröbming, curated by Maja Pogacnik, Austria
2008 Group Show Artweek, Sennhof, Heiligenberg, Germany
2009 Galerie AllerArt, Heiligenberg, Germany, solo exhibition
2012 Städtische Galerie Owingen, Germany, solo exhibition
2018 Galerie Julia Blickle, Sipplingen, Germany, solo exhibition
Competitions/ grants/ publications
2003 Artist in Residence in Vallanes, Iceland
Studio grant Kunsthalle Kleinschönach
2006 Artist in Residence at the artists‘ village Cill Rialaig Project,
2014 Publication in “Alexandria Quarterly, a curated
portfolio of art and literature”, USA, by Tamra Vassallo