Peter Koole is a painter who works in Rotterdam. The subjects of his work are derived from what was once a topical matter, with a aftermath extending over a longer period of time. At that point the cameras have left the scene. There is repetition, the past happens again today. A limited number of subjects is explored, highlighting different aspects of an event. Usually without black and white, there are many voices, multiple sides.

Twelve works find a pretext in the Balkan war, the fall of Srebrenica and the aftermath to the present day. The series is called The Balkan Paintings. Eight works out of this series were shown in 2015 at Stroom Den Haag, A Crushed Image (20 years after Srebrenica). Five works are about Anna Politkovskaya, the Russian journalist who wrote a lot about the Chechen wars and was killed in 2006, and the newspaper for which she wrote, Novaya Gazeta. The umbrella title is: Dedicated to Anna Politkovskaya. This series was exhibited at International Presscenter Nieuwspoort in The Hague, 2017. Five works deal with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And there are paintings on refugees and Detention Center Rotterdam.

The driving force for the works is a sense of justice. Quite a few of them ask a question of guilt. There’s an appeal for compassion, the attempt to keep someone or some events out of oblivion. Some call Peter Koole's paintings political, he himself finds that a restrictive label that tends too much to a thirst for action. You might say that he chooses the side of the victims or paints from their point of view. The paintings are painted without a handwriting. The painter does not want to stand in the way, he wants to represent objectivity thus hoping to convince. That the paintings are painted like this does not mean they are distant. On the contrary, they play a strong part on emotions and ask for commitment.

Peter Koole’s paintings are purchased by Museum Jan Cunen Oss, Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen Rotterdam , Rijksdienst Beeldende Kunst (ICN), Centraal Museum Utrecht and Pauluskerk Rotterdam.
Peter Koole received a scholarship from the Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture / Fonds BKVB (1995, 1996, 2003 and 2010).


Photography: Peter Hilz and Bob Goedewaagen.
Translations: Willem Groenewegen.
Webdesign: André Smits.