Peter Laszlo Peri

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Peter Laszlo Peri (June 13, 1899 – January 19, 1967) was an artist and sculptor.[1]

Name changes[edit]

Ladislas Weisz was born June 13, 1899 in Budapest, Hungary. Antisemitism caused his family to change their name to the more Hungarian "Péri". When he moved to Germany, he was known as Laszlo Péri. After he moved to England, he adopted the name "Peter Peri". His grandson, born in 1971, an artist, also has the name Peter Peri.


In Berlin, he joined the Der Sturm group of artists and in 1922, exhibited Constructivist sculpture in a joint show with László Moholy-Nagy. He worked in an architectural office from 1924 to 1927, with a view to qualifying as an architect. He returned to sculpture in 1928, but in a realist style.

In 1935, he and his wife moved to Hampstead in London. In 1939, he became a British citizen and took the name "Peter Peri". He made etchings and continued to work in sculpture, producing groups of small figures, usually engaged in co-operative ventures. Many public buildings were adorned with his work. When the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum opened in 1960, Peri was commissioned to "represent the life and activities [of Coventry] in modern terms and materials"; the work is known simply as The Coventry sculpture [2]

Peri joined the Quaker faith and produced a small bronze sculpture of a Quaker Meeting, much loved by the students of Woodbrooke Study Centre,[3] Birmingham, where it is now located.[4]

He died January 19, 1967.

Major works after 1945[edit]

  • Leicestershire
  • Warwickshire
    Man of the World, Devonshire House, University of Exeter
    • 1957 Willenhall Primary School. Three dimensional sculpture.
    • 1958 Coventry. St. Michael Primary School. Coloured concrete relief.
    • 1965 Ernesford Grange Junior School, Coventry. Sculpture and relief. Polyester [There is a full page illustration of this work, with the sculptor alongside in the Exhibition catalogue referred to, on page 6. The figures represent a flautist and a singer.].[5]

Works in permanent collections[edit]


  • 1922 Moholy-Nagy / Peri Der Sturm, Berlin
  • 1923 Moholy-Nagy / Peri Der Sturm, Berlin
  • 1924 Peri / Hilbersheimer / Nell Walden Der Sturm, Berlin
  • 1931 Ernst Múzeum Budapest (with N. Ferenczy, L. Herman, K. Istokovics, M. Lehel).[11]
  • 1933 Bloomsbury Galleries London
  • 1936 From Constructivism to Realism Foyle Art Gallery
  • 1937 Gordon Fraser's Gallery Cambridge
  • 1938 London Life in Concrete Soho Square, London
  • 1948 People by Peri A.I.A. Gallery, London
  • 1952 Sculpture in Relation to Architecture A.A. Bedford Square, London
  • 1953 Exhibition arranged by the Football Association sponsored by the Arts Council
  • 1958 Pilgrim's Progress St George's Gallery, London
  • 1960 Sculpture and Etchings Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry
  • 1961 Trades Union's Festival Exhibition, Bethnal Green
  • 1963 St Pancras Arts Festival
  • 1966 It's the People who Matter Lloyd's Gallery, Wimbledon
  • 1967 Avant-garde Osteuropa 1910-1930 Akademie der Künste, Berlin.
  • 1968 Peter Peri 1899-1967 Central Library Swiss Cottage, London
  • 1970 Peri's People The Minories, Colchester
  • 1973 Laszlo Peri. Werke 1920-1924 und das Problem des Shaped Canvas, Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne
  • 1982 Laszlo Peri 1899-1967. Arbeiten in Beton, Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst, Berlin
  • 1987 László Moholy-Nagy / Laszlo Peri, Graphisches Kabinett, Bremen
  • 2008 Peter Peri Exhibition, Sam Scorer Gallery, Lincoln.

External links[edit]

  • Permanent online exhibition at Sam Scorer Gallery
  • Grove Art article Laszlo [Peter] Peri
  • Chris Miller's "I Love Sculpture" website containing an illustration of Peri's sculpture "Sunbathing", with male and female figures horizontal to a wall, with an audience enjoying it. (Accessed 24 February 2008).
  • Designing Britain article on the Festival of Britain
    • Illustration - "Sunbathing": maquette in Leeds Museums & Galleries] (Accessed 24 February 2008).
  • Art for Social Spaces article on Schools
    • Illustration : "Two children calling a dog", c. 1956, sculpture by Peter Peri, was commissioned for Scraptoft Willowbrook Infants School in Leicestershire. Current Repository: Public Monuments & Sculpture Association]. (Accessed 24 February 2008).
    • Illustration 'Bank Holiday' (c. 1937) is one of a series of large coloured concrete wall reliefs made by Peter Peri in the 1930s. Current Repository Leeds Museums & Galleries] (Accessed 24 February 2008).
    • Illustration: One of Peter Peri's three relief concrete panels of 'Children Playing', c. 1955, for Langmoor County Primary School in Oadby, Leicestershire. c1956 Current Repository Public Monuments & Sculpture Association.](Accessed 24 February 2008).
    • Illustration: Peter Peri's 'horizontal-relief'in concrete - 'Man's Mastery of the Atom' - projects from the wall of Longslade Community College, Leicestershire, completed 1960. Current Repository Public Monuments & Sculpture Association]. (Accessed 24 February 2008).
    • Illustration: Peter Peri's concrete 'horizontal-relief' - 'The Spirit of Technology' - juts out from the exterior wall of a building at Loughborough University. Current Repository Public Monuments & Sculpture Association]. (Accessed 24 February 2008).
    • Illustration: Description In 1956, Peter Peri made 'Folk Dancing'- a yellow concrete relief - for the exterior wall of Scraptoft Valley Primary and Infants School, Nether Hall, Leicestershire. Another exterior relief - 'Jack and Jill' - and a relief for the interior of the school - 'Oranges and lemons' - were also commissioned in the early stages of the building project. Current Repository Public Monuments & Sculpture Association]. (Accessed 24 February 2008).
  • VADS: Visual Arts Data Service <SEARCH> "Peri" -
    • "Figure of Evangelist" Date Completion 1961 Description Angular elongated figure in a short robe or dress, standing out from the church wall, to which it is attached by the feet. Its arms and legs are bent and the left hand holds a book aloft. Location Forest Gate, Greater London Measurements Dimensions Figure (410 cm high approx x 230 cm wide approx) Material Concrete
    • "Figure" 1964 Description Figure of a man with right arm held high above his head. The man is leaning forward away from the supporting wall. Location East Ham, Greater London Measurements Dimensions Figure (330 cm high approx x 200 cm wide approx x 100 cm deep approx) Material Moulded concrete?
    • "Relief of playing children - a memorial to the children who died in the blitz" on Darley House on a housing estate in Lambeth.Collection Courtauld Institute of Art
    • "The Spirit of Technology" 1957 Description A male figure, naked but for a suggestion of drapery across his genitals, standing on the vertical surface of an exterior wall. His hands, raised above his head, hold a loop or coil suspended between them. Location Loughborough, Leicestershire Measurements Dimensions sculpture(h. 304 cm (est)) Material concrete
    • "St Michael and Dancing Figures" c. 1956 Collection Public Sculpture of Leicestershire Description A large exterior wall relief by Peter Peri, 'St Michael and Dancing Figures, executed for a school in Coventry.


  1. ^ ODNB article by Gillian Whiteley, "Peri, Peter Laszlo (1899–1967)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 [1], (accessed 11 Feb 2008)
  2. ^ Coventry Gallery's Help for Local Artists, The Times, 9 March 1960
  3. ^ Woodbrooke Quaker Centre website
  4. ^ Quaker Meeting sculpture on Flickr (accessed 23 February 2008).
  5. ^ a b Exhibition catalogue of a memorial exhibition: sculptures and graphic work at Swiss Cottage Library, London 8–21 May 1968, with an introductory essay by John Berger. Biographical notes, List of major works carried out [1946-1965] and of exhibitions and catalogue by P.H. Hulton and extracts from his writings and others writings about him. 15 pages.
  6. ^ Longslade Community College uses Peter Peri's sculpture as its logo (accessed 23 February 2008).
  7. ^ Illustration of Peter Peri's sculpture at University of Exeter: "Man of the World". (Accessed 24 February 2008)
  8. ^ The Tate currently lists:"Mr Collins from the A.R.P." 1940 Pigmented concrete object: 675 x 680 x 400 mm relief. Purchased 1988 (on display at the Tate Modern) and two other works at Tale Catalogue but not the bronze horse listed in the 1967 exhibition catalogue.
  9. ^ Peri's "Coventry Sculpture" is referred to as a masterpiece on the Museum's website. (accessed 24 February 2008).
  10. ^ Hungarian National Gallery website. (accessed 24 February 2008)
  11. ^ Ernst Museum Budapest website (accessed 24 February 2008).