Peter Engelen (The Netherlands, 1962)
Between 1985 and 1988 Peter Engelen studied at the 'Faculty of Law' at the 'University of Utrecht'. Only thereafter did Peter choose to take up visual art, with a strong focus on sculpting and drawing. In doing so, and to further his interest and talent, Peter attended the 'Utrecht School of the Arts' for two years until 1990. From 1990 until 1991 Peter attended the 'University of Fine and Performing Arts' in Tilburg. He was taught portrait sculpturing by Christina Nijland (Dutch, 1937). Through Christina, Peter came in contact with the work of Theresia van der Pant (Dutch, 1924). Peter's approach is very similar to that of Theresia's: learn to observe well and be able to work totally from memory. Until this very day, Theresa's method of working and her sculptures have been a great source of inspiration to Peter.
Peter Engelen has been fascinated with animals from a very young age, spending much time with youth among animals in stables and zoo's, and learning to interpret the animals' body language by sketching and sculpting them. After his secondary education, Peter worked as a horse trainer. During his time studying Law in Utrecht Peter was also active in horse racing, with a focus on dressage and training of race horses.
Peter Engelen is one of only a few artists who have the expertise to sculpt with an excellent understanding of the animal's anatomy. He continues the centuries' old tradition of Dutch sculpture, in which Theresia van der Pant, Charlotte van Pallandt (Dutch 1898-1997) and others went before him. Peter can skillfully portray the elegance and power of a horse's head with curved neck, the peaceful tension of a drinking tiger, or the utmost concentration of a bird of prey just before the charge. Peter knows how to grab the energy that so fascinates him in these creatures and pack all of it into his statues. The bronze sculptures demonstrate Peter's excellent understanding of, and control over, the structure of the animal.
Horses, birds of prey and catlike creatures are the most reoccurring in his work. Peter's statues invite us to think of modern life while calling for a secret desire.