I was exposed to Nature as a child growing up in Maine and there began a love affair with it, deciding to become a scientist, majoring in biology in college.
I became disenchanted with the rigorous scientific approach and did not go on to grad school. No one then ever suggested that I pursue art as a way to explore, interpret and redefine Nature.
Within a year after graduating, thirty two years ago, I discovered clay and began a life of exploring form, material, color, texture and my own personal iconographies. I drifted away from clay after a few years, worked on boats, cooked, built stone walls, became a builder and ultimately a cabinetmaker and furniture maker. All the while I have approached this work as sculpture, as art, trying to get some of me into it.
For the last four or five years I have been showing extensively with the sculpture and the collage while still experimenting with new forms and ideas in furniture. It has been a bit chaotic and disruptive, but ultimately productive and insightful. One discipline does in fact inform the other. If I could make a living as a sculptor, or by showing and selling the collage, I would give up all the rest. I loved it but it is time to focus. I keep trying to steal time from work, from working for a living, in order to make art, to develop the ideas that fill my sketchbooks. It is nothing new, but for me it is a revelation. I have become the artist I dreamed of becoming in my twenties.
Peter Dellert, born 1951 in Connecticut, raised in Gardiner, Maine has been a Pioneer Valley resident for thirty years. He is an artist, furniture maker and sculptor living and working in Holyoke, MA. His collage works, were presented at the Wisteriahurst Museum November 1 through December 31, 2008 in a show sponsored by MIFA (Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts) and Wisteriahurst. These works, entitled Parings and Gleanings, explore minimalist themes while using found and botanical materials. This work takes its cue from the color studies of Joseph Albers, whose square on square paintings are some of the best examples of mid twentieth century minimalism. Reaching further,
Dellert explores juxtapositions between found object, in his case usually rusted metal, and the rigors of minimalism. He superimposes his grids and circles using the found material as a ground to anchor the work.
One series, Reservoir Maps, uses sycamore bark to partially conceal underlying grided maplike accumulations of leaves, flowers, text, among a myriad of ingredients. These pieces explore worlds within worlds and beg for scrutiny and interaction. Focusing on a detail in one of the collages, it is as if one had stepped into a separate universe.
Dellert has shown extensively in group shows around the country including shows at the Portland OR Museum of Contemporary Craft, The Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, The Norman Rockwell Museum and the Albany International Airport Gallery. His sculpture has been included in the Chesterwood Museums’ Contemporary Sculpture shows in 2005, 2006 and 2007. His sculpture has been included in the Sculpture Now Show in 2008, in Lenox, MA and currently in the Sculpture Now Show in Stockbridge, MA. He has also been included in Sculpture New Hope (PA) in 2006 and 2007 and in Sculpture Key West in 2008. His most recent solo show was at Springfield (MA) College in 2005.