Robert Preyer, German painter, and Chios island, Greece

It must have been in 2002 when Gerti Preyer told me, a newcomer, that they, her husband and herself, had already been in our small village for about 18 years, the last 10 living full time there. Her husband was Robert Preyer, a German painter. He was born in 1930 in Brussels, Belgium, and moved to Germany in 1944 where, later on, he studied art. During his life, he taught painting and had many exhibitions of his work. In the years 1968-88, he was a professor at the Fachhochschule Wiesbaden.

Robert Preyer - the way I remember him
Robert Preyer – the way I remember him

 

Robert Preyer - younger
Robert Preyer 

He started with lithography, then he developed his painting. The landscape, the light and the colours of Greece were decisive for his work. Robert Preyer: “In this illuminated country, my painting could quickly take root. Rather as the result of colours, the liquid and solid matter of the Greek landscape resembles my idea of materializing the colouristic appearance on the canvas. But the natural effect of the images arises from the energy of the colours when they form and grow together.”

Robert Preyer
Robert Preyer

 

Robert Preyer
Robert Preyer

During the time he lived full time on Chios and then when he spent the winters in Germany and the rest of the year in Greece, Robert kept his ties with the art world in Germany where he often had exhibitions of his work.

Robert Preyer 2013
Robert Preyer 2013
Robert Preyer- Bei den pflanzen, 2012
Robert Preyer – Bei den pflanzen, 2012

Gerti was spending more time than Robert socializing with the people in the village and also feeding the stray cats. Robert, a very kind and quiet man, when not visiting different places on the island and enjoying the sea, was working in his studio, completely absorbed by his art making. He kept painting until the end.

Robert Preyer and Helga Fohl (Torsi) 2015
Robert Preyer and Helga Fohl (Torsi), exhibition 2015

In the early autumn of 2014, he spent some time in the hospital on Chios, then in Germany, where in December he passed away in Rettert im Taunus. Gerti continued returning to Chios every spring and leaving in the autumn until her death in February 2017.

Robert Preyer 2014
Robert Preyer 2014
Robert Preyer 2009
Robert Preyer 2009

Both Robert and Gerti Preyer were very much liked by everyone in the village. Their house, at the edge of the village with a nice open view, was renovated with love by them. Today, the people who live there have no connection with the Preyer family. They also have no idea of the artist’s struggle to find inspiration, to express it through his medium, to be creative. I’m not even sure they care…

The Preyer house
The Preyer house
View from the Preyer house
View from the Preyer house

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