Peries’s work has increasingly grown together with his vision of the Sri Lankan landscape. The development of his art has grown from the momentum generated in his early years in Sri Lanka. His mature work exhibits a fine control of emotions and technique.
Peries first began drawing lessons under David Paynter in the early 1940s, in Colombo where he met Aubrey Collette. Following a short stint with Paynter, Harry Pieris became his teacher. A “fastidious master of the craft” and Pieris remained as the finest of all teachers to Peries.
In 1946 Peries went to London on a scholarship from St. Johns Wood School of Art where he discovered the technique of tempera; a technique he used quite extensively.
Ivan Peries has had many critics along the way. In the inaugral exibition of the 43 ‘Group, L.P. Goonetilleke commented that Ivan Peries was “trying his hand out and his work in this exhibition indicated his ability to evolve a personal idiom” (Weerarathne, 1993;p115). The following year the same critic stated “still on the track with a Whistler mood”. These depicted a rather volatile personality of the painter.
In 1951, he had his first solo exhibition which comprised of 125 paintings, drawings, water colours and pastels.
In London Lester James Peries in a letter to his parents described a painting which was bought by Martin Russell in its incomplete state. Russell believed that Ivan Peries “has now the indications of future greatness” (Weereratne, 1993, p117).
Ivan was well recieved by many at the ‘43 Groups’ first exhibition in London in 1952. The ‘Manchseter Guardian’ critic stated that Peries “evolved a strongly personal style and has entirely digested and made his own the influences which shaped him”. Senaka Dias Bandaranayake, who devoted a lot of time to study Ivan Peries’s work in 1969 stated “In spite of having spent a major part of his life as a painter abroad, there is nothing in his work which is outside the Ceylonese experience”. He was regarded as an artist who dealt "with feeling and emotion" (Bandaranayake and Dharmasiri, 2009).
Following his return back to the UK in 1953 he had several one-man exhibitions both in Eurpoe and Colombo, which included an exhibition with Harry Pieris and another with Richard Gabriel. In UK his exhibitions included that of a collection of 80 paintings and drawings at St. Catherine’s College, Oxford in 1965; another consisted of 53 works at the Commonwealth Institute Gallery in 1966.
Peries’s works form part of many collections around the world, which includes the Petit Palais in Paris which acquired a portrait of the Actress, Irangani Serasinghe, for its permanent collection; the Martin Russel collection, London; the Sapumal Foundation, Colombo; Pembroke College, Oxford; Leicester Education Authority, Leicester and the War Memorial Museum, London. He also participated in many other exhibitions apart from his solo ones, such as AIA Gallery, London (1954); Heffer Gallery, Cambridge (1954); the XXVII Venice Biennale (1956); the XXIX Venice Biennal (1958); South London Artt Gallery (1960); Bear Lane Gallery, Oxford (1961 and 1963); the Beaux Art Gallery, London.
References: Weeraratne (1993); Bandaranayake and Fonseka (1996).
|Name of Exhibition||Year||Place|
|Competitive Exhbition of the Ceylon Society of Arts||1939||The Art Gallery, Colombo|
|45th Exhibition: Ceylon Society of Arts||1940||The Art Gallery, Colombo|
|Ceylon Society of Arts Exhbition||1941||The Art Gallery, Colombo|
|Competitive Exhbition of the Ceylon Society of Arts||1941||The Art Gallery, Colombo|
|Ceylon Society of Arts Exhbition||1942||The Art Gallery, Colombo|
|Ceylon’s War Effort Pictures Exhibition||1943||King George’s Hall, University of Colombo|
|43 Group 1st Exhibition||1943||Darley Road, Colombo|
|43 Group 2nd Exhibition||1944||Darley Road, Colombo|
|43 Group 3rd Exhibition||1945||Darley Road, Colombo|
|43 Group 4th Exhibition||1946||Darley Road, Colombo|
|Exhibition of Paintings, Water Colours, Pastels and Drawings from the collection of Lionel Wendt; Organized by the ’43 Group||1946||Guildford Crescent, Colombo|
|UNEXCO Internation Exhibition of Modern Art: Painting, Graphic and Decorative Art, Architecture||1946||Museum of Modern Art, Paris|
|43 Group 5th Exhibition||1947||Guildford Crescent, Colombo|
|43 Group 6th Exhibition||1948||Guildford Crescent, Colombo|
|Diamond Jubilee Exhbition of Art in Ceylon ;1887-1947; Organized by the Ceylon Society of Arts||1948||Colombo|
|43 Group 8th Exhibition||1950||The Art Gallery, Guildford Crescent, Colombo|
|Exhibition of Paintings, Drawings, Water Colours, Pastels etc 1939-1951||1951||Colombo|
|43 Group Contemporary Ceylonese Painting||1952||Imperial Institute, London, UK|
|Internation Exhibition of Paintings||1952||Colombo|
|Exposition de L’Art Contemporain de Ceylan||1953||Petit Palais, Paris|
|6 Contemporary Ceylonese Painters||1954||Artists International Association Gallery, Leicester Square, London|
|Exhibition of Contemporary Painters from Ceylon||1954||The Heffer Gallery, Cambridge|
|43 Group 10th Exhibition||1955||The Art Gallery, Colombo|
|Exhibition of Contemporary Paintings and Drawings from Ceylon||1956||Arts Council Gallery, Cambridge|
|The 28th International Biennale||1956||Vennice|
|43 Group 11th Exhibition||1956||The Art Gallery, Guildford Crescent, Colombo|
|43 Group 12th Exhibition||1957||The Art Gallery, Guildford Crescent, Colombo|
|29th Vennice Biennale||1958||Vennice|
|43 Group 13th Exhibition||1959||The Art Gallery, Guildford Crescent, Colombo|
|A Loan Exhibition of Commonwealth Art||1960||Norwich Castle Museum, UK|
|Ceylon: A Painter’s Country: An Exhbition Illustrating the Practice of Painting in Ceylon from the 5th Century to the Present Day||1960||South London Gallery, Camberwell, London|
|South Asian Artists at Work in London||1960||Bear Lane Gallery, Oxford|
|Paintings by Ivan Peries and Peter Peterson||1962||Queenswood Gallery, London|
|Azzudin – Peries – Shariffe||1963||Bear Lane Gallery, Oxford|
|43 Group 14th Exhibition||1964||The Art Gallery, Guildford Crescent, Colombo|
|An Exhibition of Ceylon Paintings – Organized by the Ceylon High Commision||1964||Commonwealth Institute, London|
|43 Group – 21st Anniversary Exhibition||1964||Guildford Crescent, Colombo|
|Ivan Peries: Exhibition of Paintings, Collages, Drawings, Watercolours 1940-1965||1965||Oxford|
|Ivan Peries (Ceylon)||1966||Commonwealth Institute Art Gallery, London|
|The Lionel Wendt Collection – Lionel Wendt Memorial Exhibition||1967||Guildford Crescent, Colombo|
|43 Group 16th Exhibition||1967||The Art Gallery, Guildford Crescent, Colombo|
|Ivan Peries and Richard Gabriel: Paintings, Water Colours – Lionel Wendt||1969||Lionel Wendt Art Gallery, Guildford Crescent, Colombo|
|Ivan Peries||1979||Newman Room, Oxford|
|Exhibition of Recent Oils by Ivan Peries and Sculptures by Mary Gorrara – The Grayshott Art Gallery||1980||The Grayshott Art Gallery, Surrey|
|Ivan Peries (Sri Lanka)||1981||Galerie Abras Mont des Arts, Brussels|
|Festival of Sri Lanka; Contemporary Painting in Sri Lanka||1981||Commonwealth Institute, London|
|Ivan Peries||1983||Sapumal Foundation, Colombo 07|
|43 Group Colombo: An Exhibiition of Paintings, Etching, Drawings and Sculptors||1985||Purcell Room, Royal Festival Hall, London|
|A Selection of Contemporary Work of a Few Sri Lankan Artists||1985||Sapumal Foundation, Colombo 07|
|43 Group Exhibition||1987||Lyre Room, The South Bank Centre, Royal Festival Hall, London|
|The Other Story: Asian, African and Caribbean Artists in Post-War Britain||1990||Hayward Gallery, London|
|43 Group exhibition to honor George Keyt||1991||Colombo|
|Ivan Peries: Water Colours and Drawings||1993||Paradise Road, Colombo|
|Ivan Peries: Paintings, Water Colours, Drawings To mark the publication of the book||1996||Sapumal Foundation, Colombo 07|
|Exhibition of the ’43 Group and Other Artists by The Taprobane Collection||2017||Nelum Arts Centre, Colombo|
|Name of Book||Year of Publication||Author||Printer|
|Ivan Peries Paintings – 1938-88||1996||Senaka Bandaranayake and M. Fonseka||Tamarind Publications|
Other Publicaitons the Artist has been mentioned in
|Art in Sri Lanka – The Anton Wickramasinghe Collection||1988||Albert Dharmasiri||ANCL – Lake House|
|Modern Sri Lankan Painters||1992||George Keyt Foundation||Siri Printers|
|43 Group||1993||Neville Weereratne||Lantana Publishing|
|Moods and Modes – 50 years of Sri Lankan Painting||1999||The George Keyt Foundation Texts by: Martin Russel, Nihal Rodrigo, Ellen Dissanayake, S.B. Dissanayake||Aitken Spence Printing|
|Visions of an Island – Rare works from Sri Lanka in The Christopher Ondaatje Collection||1999||Neville Weereratne||Harper Collins Publishers Ltd|
|The Presidential Collection – Contemporary Sri Lankan Art||2008||Presidential Secretariat|
|Sri Lankan Painting in the 20th Century||2009||Senake Bandaranayake and Albert Dharmasiri||The Nationl Trust Sri Lanka|
|Supplement to the Sapumal Foundation||2018||Rohan De Soysa||The Sapumal Foundation|
|The Heritage I, II, III||Albert Dharmasiri||R. Rajamahendran|