Peter Mennacher (1942 - 2021) was born in Bavaria and raised in Munich, Germany, where he studied law. He worked as a lawyer for 21 years before moving to Canada with his family in 1992, and because he specialized in tax and art, he had quite a clientele of artists. In the 70s one of his clients, the well-known art professor Nicolai Sarafov, taught him the most difficult of printing techniques – etching. They became fast friends and remained close.
Peter was always interested in the arts and as a teenager did lots of drawings, paintings, monoprints, and linocuts. After moving to Canada and opening BLIZZMAX gallery and studio in 1993, he also took up wood carving and sculpting.
Peter describes his inspirations and works in his artist statement:
I create etchings, paintings (acrylic), sculptures (wood) and occasionally, installations. Most of my work consists of etchings/aquatints. I recently attended a woodcut and a silkscreen workshop which was very rewarding and useful for future projects.
My work is mainly figurative. The human being has always been at the centre of my artistic interest. For me it is forever fascinating – the metaphysical enigma of the human existence – as Gauguin succinctly wrote, it is “where do we come from, who are we, where are we going to.”
We are living in a world populated by human beings with needs, desires, troubles, dreams, nightmares, and ambitions. At times there are many beings around us, sometimes a few, and sometimes we are alone, physically, and mentally.
The ideas for my work are often born in a split moment: they might be inspired by just observing people, reading, dreaming, listening to music, or of course, looking at many works of art.
In my former life as a lawyer, I kept a sketchbook right next to my phone and would always do sketches when I was talking to clients. These old sketches are both controlled and uncontrolled. I still do this sketching technique today because it proves to be a great source of creative inspiration for me.
Being able to work artistically is extremely rewarding. Art is sublime and heaven-inspired and gives me as the creator, absolute personal freedom to articulate my life experience. Art is an effort for me to justify human existence.
Peter has been in numerous group and solo shows at the Blizzmax Gallery and participated in Art in the County (PEC), Gallery 121 and Expressions (Belleville), and in Montreal. In the 1980s, Peter showed his etchings twice in Munich, and his wine-related art at different occasions in Prince Edward County – at wineries, Taste the County, Terroir, and County Palooza.