Peter Max is a German-born American illustrator and graphic artist, known for the use of psychedelic shapes and color palettes as well as spectra in his work.
In 1938, Max’s parents fled Berlin, Germany, his place of birth, to escape the fomenting Nazi movement, settling in Shanghai, China, where they lived for the next ten years. In 1948, the family moved to Haifa, Israel where they lived for several years. From Israel, the family continued moving westward and stopped in Paris for several months— an experience that Max said greatly influenced his appreciation for art.
Peter and his parents first settled in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn in 1953 where he attended Lafayette High School (New York City), where he was classmates with future actor Paul Sorvino. In 1956, Max began his formal art training at the Art Students League of New York inManhattan, studying anatomy, figure drawing and composition under Frank J. Reilly who had studied at the League alongside Norman Rockwell.
In 1962, Max started a small Manhattan arts studio known as “The Daly & Max Studio,” with friend Tom Daly. Daly and Max were joined by friend and mentor Don Rubbo, and the three worked as a group on books and advertising for which they received industry recognition. Much of their work incorporated antique photographic images as elements of collage.
In 1970, many of Max’s products and posters were featured in the exhibition “The World of Peter Max,” which opened at the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum in San Francisco.
Max’s art work was first identified as having been a popular part of the counter culture and psychedelic movements in graphic design during the late 1960s and early 1970s. He is known for using bursts of color, often containing much or the entire visible spectrum. His work was both influenced by, as well as widely imitated by, others in the field of commercial illustration, such as Heinz Edelmann. Max’s repeated claims, varying in detail, to have worked on “Yellow Submarine” has been denied by the production team.
Max works in multiple media including painting, drawing, etchings (including aquatint), collage, print making, sculpture, video and digital imagery. He also includes “mass media” as being another “canvas” for his creative expression. Max often uses American icons and symbols in his artwork. He has created paintings of presidents Ford, Carter, Reagan and Bush in addition to his 100 Clintons—a multiple portrait installation. He often features images of celebrities, politicians, athletes and sporting events and other pop culture subjects in his artwork.
Max is an environmentalist, vegan and defender of human and animal rights.
Max currently lives in New York City.
|2015||Peter Max – A Retrospective||State of the Arts Gallery, Sarasota, FL||Solo|
|2015||Peter Max||The Cultural Center, Ponte Vedra Beach||Solo|
|2014||Peter Max: Homage to Color||Angela King Gallery, New Orleans||Solo|
|2014||Peter Max||Nassau County Museum of Art, Roslyn Harbor, NY||Solo|
|2014||Peter Max Solo Exhibit||Darien’s Geary Gallery, CT, US||Solo|
|2014||PETER MAX: A RETROSPECTIVE 1960-2014||Gallery 7, Vinton Street, Omaha, Nebraska||Solo|
|2014||Peter Max||Road Show Company, Pioneer Place in Portland||Solo|
|2013||The Master of Pop||Ocean Galleries, Stone Harbor, NJ||Solo|
|2013||Receptions with Peter Max||Karis Art Gallery, Hilton Head Island, SC, USA||Group|
|2012||Peter Max||Off the Wall Gallery, Houston, TX||Solo|
|2012||Collector’s Choice Summer Exhibition||Winchester Galleries, Broad Street, Victoria, BC||Group|
|2011||Peter Max||Nassau County Museum of Art, Roslyn Harbor, NY||Solo|
|2011||Salute to Patriotism - Peter Max Art Exhibition||Ocean Galleries, Stone Harbor, NJ||Solo|
|2010||Size does matter||FLAG Art Foundation, New York City, NY||Group|
|2008||New Works from Peter Max||Angela King Gallery, New Orleans, LA||Solo|
|2007||The Creative World of Peter Max: A Retrospective||El Paso Museum of Art (EPMA), El Paso, TX||Solo|
|2007||Peter Max and the Summer of Love||The de Young Museum, San Francisco, CA||Solo|
|2007||Peter Max: Maximum Exposure||Tennessee State Museum, Nashville, TN||Solo|
|2006||Got Cow? Cattle In American Art, 1820-2000||Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, NY||Group|
|2006||Peter Max: Virtual Exhibition||Art of Peter Max Gallery, LAS VEGAS, NV||Solo|
|2005||Colors of a Better World||Gallery M, Denver, CO||Group|
|2003||THE AMERICAN DREAM||Galerie Gottschick, Tübingen||Group|
|1993||Pop to Patriotism exhibition||The Corcoran Gallery of Art,Washington, DC||Group|
|1991||Peter Max Solo Exhibit||Várfok Gallery, Budapest||Solo|
|1970||The World of Peter Max||Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach||Solo|
|1970||The World of Peter Max||De Young Memorial Museum, San Francisco, CA||Solo|
|1968||Word and Image: Posters and Typography from the Graphic Design Collection of the Museum of Modern Art 1879-1967||MoMA - Museum of Modern Art, New York City, NY||Group|