McKenzie Fine Art logo
55 Orchard Street, New York, New York 10002 212 989 5467

Gary Petersen

May 20 - June 26, 2022

more Gary Petersen 2022 exhibitionview exhibition

Gary Petersen creates exuberantly colored abstract paintings using irregular geometric shapes, curving lines, and layered space. He begins his paintings with arrangements of elongated, nesting forms and free-flowing meandering lines. A thin wash of transparent white paint is then applied, partially obscuring these elements. This background becomes the field onto which Petersen lays down colorful curvilinear shapes and arcing linear elements. Working intuitively, he overlays flat and brightly colored irregular forms that accrete into broader patterned zones in his lively compositions. The background is visible in spaces between overlaid forms, and also through forms which are windowed with circles or rectangles, creating active spatial play between the foreground and muted background. Although predominately painted in acrylic, Petersen continues his recent practice of including shapes painted in oil and applied with a palette knife, providing textural richness and variety to the work. Some of the forms and compositional arrangements in Petersen’s paintings originate in his drawings, which are executed in graphite and ink or in colored pencil. Several of these drawings are on view in the exhibition; they were created with the support of a recent Bogliasco Foundation Fellowship.
Notable in this new body of work is Petersen's use of vivid but disarmingly sophisticated color, coupled with a greater use of curvilinear shapes. Forms stretch and bounce across the pictorial fields, acting as taut screens or linkages across varying zones delineated by energetic linear elements or deliberate bisections in the compositions. Petersen cites the paintings of Al Held, Elizabeth Murray, and Shirley Jaffe as important influences, and weaves a range of references into his work, including graphic design, cartoons, and architecture. Playful and energetic, Petersen's taut compositions are simultaneously static and dynamic, suggesting a world in constant flux.
Gary Petersen (b.1956, Staten Island, NY) received his B.S. degree from The Pennsylvania State University and an M.F.A. from The School of Visual Arts. He has exhibited widely in New York City and throughout the United States and Europe since the early 1990s. Petersen's work has been reviewed in many publications including Hyperallergic, Artnews, Art in America and The New York Times. His paintings and drawings are in numerous private, corporate, and public collections including The Dallas Museum of Art, New York’s Jewish Museum, the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University, NJ, and the US Department of State. Awards received include The Bogliasco Foundation Residency Fellowship, The Barnett and Annalee Newman Foundation Grant-Award, The MacDowell Colony Fellowship, The American Academy of Arts and Letters Purchase Award, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts Painting Fellowship, the Sharpe-Walentas Space Program, and the Edward F. Albee Fellowship. Petersen currently has a studio in Brooklyn and resides in Hoboken, New Jersey.
Instagram logo   Instagram

Artsy logo    Artsy
55 Orchard Street, New York, New York 10002 212 989 5467