Spanierman Gallery at East Hampton Exhibits Art of Paige Peterson

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Spanierman Gallery, LLC at East Hampton gallery is pleased to announce the opening on June 26, 2008 of an exhibition of Paige Peterson's new paintings, including landscapes, portraits, and figural works. An artist and illustrator, Peterson lives and works in New York City and East Hampton, Long Island.

Paige Peterson - Study in Black and White

The discomfort, awkwardness, and the things not being said convey a feeling of melancholy, like listening to the sound of the ocean in a shell; there is no ocean, and the shell has been long removed from the beach, but the memories and experiences of past walks, alone, in the sand leave the viewer with personal memories and thoughts.

Spanierman Gallery, LLC at East Hampton is pleased to announce the opening on June 26, 2008 of an exhibition of Paige Peterson's new paintings, including landscapes, portraits, and figural works. An artist and illustrator, Peterson lives and works in New York City and East Hampton, Long Island.

Characterized as "lyrical" by the Philadelphia Inquirer and "spare but evocative" by the San Francisco Chronicle, Peterson's images often seem to be vacation snapshots, taken hastily, yet still conveying the artist's relationship with "place." In the show, a group of figurative paintings depict clusters people who seem to know each other but are frozen in conversation-less poses. Sometimes they confront the viewer while other times they seem caught unawares. Their thoughts are elusive, and while shadows anchoring them to washed-out backgrounds suggest they are somewhere and that the sun is out, their actual locations are mysterious.

Removing figures from particular places enables them to be seen in pure relationships to each other. As the artist notes: "The discomfort, awkwardness, and the things not being said convey a feeling of melancholy, like listening to the sound of the ocean in a shell; there is no ocean, and the shell has been long removed from the beach, but the memories and experiences of past walks, alone, in the sand leave the viewer with personal memories and thoughts."

The empty sand in the foreground and the empty island on the horizon convey a further sense of solitude and longing, while the emptiness of the sea makes it seem that everyone has left, and Peterson asks, if it is the end of the season or the beginning. Playing with light, Peterson paints forms as flat shapes, weaned of detail. They convey the relationship of a band of sand, a slice of water, and a distant locale; much as her figures do, their relationships are based on silence.

The figural and landscape works seem to ask to be stitched together, to give the lonely people a landscape to inhabit. By keeping them apart, Peterson forces them to find their own way, letting the vacant sea and empty beachfront remain for us to inhabit.

In 2002 Peterson was featured in Studios by the Sea, a photographic account by Bob Colacello and Jonathan Becker of artists working and living on Long Island's East End. A year later, she was selected for lifetime membership in the Guild Hall Academy of the Arts, and in 2004, her work appeared in a group show along with that of Christo, Chuck Close, and Alex Katz. In 2006 she co-authored and illustrated the children's book Blackie, The Horse Who Stood Still, with Christopher Cerf, which is currently in its fifth printing from Welcome Books in New York City.

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Terry Ross

Gavin Spanierman
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