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Maquette for Festival Hall Relief; the Sunbathers

Peri, Peter Laszlo (1899-1967), c. 1950, Item type

Peter Peri was born Ladislas Weisz in Budapest, Hungary.  When he was in his teens his parents changed the family name to Peri, to avoid increasing antisemitism in Hungary.    Peri began training to become a lawyer but developed a strong interest in both art and communist politics. He became apprenticed to a stone mason and studied art at evening classes. When he later moved to Berlin, he joined Der Sturm, a group of avante-garde artists, and was known as Laszlo Peri.  In 1933, Peri was one of the founders of the anti-fascist Artists International Association. In 1933 he moved to England and in 1939 he became a British citizen.  During the Second World War Peri made small concrete figures of people engaged in everyday activities, developing a technique of modelling from wet concrete that he had first used in Berlin. This maquette, entitled The Sunbathers, was for a sculptural mural, a relief that jutted out from the wall of the Royal Festival Hall.  Subsequently, Peri received a large number of commissions from education authorities, typically to create concrete reliefs representing children at play.  The maquette was given to the LACF by William Peri in 2000.