Drawings of Peter (Lazlo) Peri

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The collection offers a visual record of Peri's work. There are over 300 drawings, c.1930-1960, among which are ideas for work and drawings relating to specific sculptures. Many of the drawings are figurative and show people in everyday life situations, at work or in social gatherings. These often depict scenes in London where Peri lived from 1938. The drawings also document Peri's experiments with architectural sculpture which were often positioned on a horizontal plane in relation to a vertical wall and were made in his self-styled concrete formula known as 'pericrete'. Other themes of the drawings are mother and child scenes, reflections in water or mirrors and children playing. Many of the scenes depicting children relate to commissions for schools from the 1950s, mostly for Leicestershire Education Authority. There are also drawings for other commissions such as 'Concrete Mixers' for the Cement and Concrete Association, 1938, and the 'Coventry Sculpture', 1960, for Coventry Museum. There are c.250 photographs of Peri's sculpture copied from the originals in the Peri Estate and eleven original photographs of Peri and his sculpture by Wolfgang Suschitzky.

Administrative / Biographical History

Peter Peri was born in Budapest in 1899. He was apprenticed to stonemason and attended evening classes in art. After 1919 he sought political refuge in Vienna and Paris and settled in Berlin. He was a leading Constructivist artist in Berlin in early 1920s during which time he worked in Berlin City Architect’s Department 1924-27. Peri began making figurative sculpture in late 1920s. He moved to England in 1933 becoming a naturalised citizen in 1939. Here he developed his charateristic practice of using coloured concrete for distinctive ‘horizontal reliefs’. In 1938 he was invited for a solo show in London, 'London Life in Concrete', by the Cement and Concrete Association in 1938. He won numerous commissions for education authorities after the war, notably Leicestershire.Exhibitions include: AIA Gallery, London 1948 (solo); SB 1951; 'Etchings and Sculpture', The Coffee House, London 1952 (solo); 'Looking Forward', Whitechapel Gallery, London 1953; 'Sculpture in Relation to Architecture', Architectural Association, London 1954; 'The Religious Theme', Tate Gallery, London 1958.

Conditions Governing Access

Available to all registered researchers. The Archive is open by appointment only.

Other Finding Aids

Please consult HMI Archivist for more information.

Archivist's Note

Collection level description created by Janette Martin. Biographical information: 'Peter Laszlo Peri', Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851-1951, University of Glasgow History of Art and HATII, online database 2011 [http://sculpture.gla.ac.uk/view/person.php?id=ann_1280071279, accessed 08 Dec 2015]'Peter Laszlo Peri', Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851-1951, University of Glasgow History of Art and HATII, online database 2011 [http://sculpture.gla.ac.uk/view/person.php?id=ann_1280071279, accessed 08 Dec 2015

Related Material

There are 169 slides of which came with the archive, these are housed in the HMI slide library.There are 13 sculptures by Peter Peri in the Leeds City Art Gallery collection.Tate Gallery Archive also holds photographs, drawings and some correspondence relating to Peter Peri 1920s-1967 [GB 70 TGA 704]