Claudia Peill was born in Genoa in 1963. She graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome in 1986. In 1999/2000 a scholarship took her to the Höherweg Studio in Düsseldorf, an experience which would have an important influence on her career and artistic development.
Despite her consistent recourse to synthetic materials, resins and photography, Peill has never abandoned the idea of painting. The layers of coloured resins with which she coats fragmentary images employ the same underlying technique: a veiling of the surface which, in covering, reveals. She proceeds by superimposing layer on layer until, built up from the blank surface, the image gradually materializes. The sense of separation and of dissociation is an important element of her work: the voids, the pauses and the silences allude to the need for a fluid and circulatory form of communication between artist, artwork and viewer.
In 2010 she abandoned the use of resin, in order to lighten the image, but at the heart of her work there remained an elegant combination of two very different mediums: painting and photography. She glances back at what once was, and yet behind this there lurks no streak of nostalgia but rather a conscious openness towards what will be. Memory, in Peill’s work, is a point of departure not a destination. Her basic technique remains unchanged, photography once again furnishing the starting point from which she moves on to transpose the work onto canvas.
At this point the subjects extracted from the city are no longer noble statues and fragments of the classical world, but magnified bolts, windows, pieces of machinery, traces of a past life, marking a shift from the evocation of an imposing if romantically decadent classicism to a close-up zooming in on the arid fascination of the contemporary city. The focus is not on the subject portrayed but, always, on the eye of the viewer. Past and present are of equal value, a value derived from our own awareness of them. When Peill captures a frozen moment or freezes a silent cry in a slow gesture or a repeated movement, she transports us into a world beyond time, where perception becomes the habitat of fantasy.
In her recent work there is also an increasingly evident relationship with the dry rigour and the force of Blinky Palermo, an artist who has always been a point of reference for Peill, along with other important figures like Bill Viola and Giulio Paolini.
In addition to her numerous exhibitions the artist has also created diverse pieces for public spaces. Her works are present in many private and public collections including the Museo Pecci in Prato, the Università Tor Vergata in Rome, the Kunststiftung NRW in Düsseldorf and the GNAM in Rome.