In Pieter Sluis, Ireland has a unique emissary from the Dutch postwar COBRA
movement. The movement, founded by Karol Appel and other Dutch and Belgian
artists, was an attempt to wrest art-world interest back from the New York
abstract expressionists of the 1950s.
As Pieter began to make his mark in Dublin galleries from the late 1960s
onwards, he continued to pursue his interests in graphic art, typography and
calligraphy, and to take an active interest, as performer and listener, in his
beloved jazz music. Many of his paintings incorporated images of his jazz
heroes, while others, such as his masterpiece Breath of Life, refer indirectly
to rhythm and music.
The COBRA movement formed much of Pieterís work from the late 1950s to the early
1960s Ė so much so that Pieter often referred to these paintings as "my Appels".
He and his contemporaries would use COBRAís pro-figurative ethos to mount a
challenge to Dublinís 1960s infatuation with bland, corporate abstraction.
In the hands of Pieter Sluis, the rationalist, modernist impulse is used merely
to take the measure of the infinite bounty of Nature and imagination. His line
gives form to the infinite without imprisoning it.
His paintings, like his beloved jazz music, savour the bounties of Nature by
putting design and structure on them, by measuring out the complex rhythms of
Pieter Sluis lives in Blackrock, Co. Dublin.