Albert Leo Peil
Germany, 1946 – 2019
Albert Leo Peil was born in 1946 in Berlin, Germany. At the age of 15, he moves to Lauf an der Pegnitz, a small town in the Franconia region of Bavaria. At the Academy of Visual Arts in Nuremberg, he studies under the abstract painter Ernst Weil, but drops out after just two semesters. The largest part of Peil’s oeuvre is the product of his seemingly tireless drawing practice. Until his death in 2019, he carefully cataloged hundreds of drawings in binders. Drawn in ink and only occasionally colored, the sheets trace the development of Peil’s singular style over the course of many years. An especially remarkable feature of his mature techniques is a unique brand of drawn pointillism. In some of Peil’s most accomplished works, seemingly chaotic ink dots slowly coalesce into clear forms. The relationship between Peil and his audience also constitutes a balancing act. On the one hand, his drawings seem largely uninterested in being understood or even decoded by any outside public. On the other hand, Peil never closed himself off to the world of productivity and consumption. On the verso of many drawings, he signals his epicurean interest in the outside world through scribbled, quasi-encyclopedic lists of popular artists, actors, musicians, fashion designers, and cosmetics brands. In a few cases, Peil even explicitly quotes elements from the world of fashion and luxury. The eyeglasses and headpieces donned by his male protagonists, for example, closely resemble the leather and plastic masks the French designer Pierre Cardin designed for his famous space age collections in the 1960s. From Nuremberg, Peil imagined himself as part of a scene of creatives in Paris and New York, who seemed to share his dream of escaping to future worlds.