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Al Peters: Just Painting and Small Drawings
Apr 25-May 20
The Painting Center presents the solo exhibition of Paintings and Small Drawings by Al Peters in the Main Gallery and the Project Room.
In the introductory essay to the exhibition catalog entitled Just Painting Darragh McNicholas writes that Peters non-objective paintings are composed of a finite number of shapes, colors, and sizes that are coupled and recoupled the same way 12 notes are recombined to produce an infinite number of musical compositions. In each painting, whatever color forms the ground functions like a tonic note on which the other colors build. Individual works can be alternately bright, serious, frenetic, humorous, spacious, or serene. Mr. McNicholas also says, For Peters, the paired down act of painting always sits at the heart of his artistic production. Al Peters is anchored by a sensibility that sees painting as a simple, humane act that persists despite theory and politics, not because of it. As Peter Schjeldahl writes, the old, slow art of the eye and the hand is possessed of an unparalleled ability to express what its like to have a particular mindin a particular body. This singular trait enables painting to continually beat cultures actuarial table, surviving the periodic proclamations of its death.
Al Peters himself has said, Painting is simply painting---and it is unlike anything else and everything else and there is nothing else which can or will ever take its place. My drawings are both validation and exploration: A reaffirmation of what I have already done in the paintings, and an attempt to explore that which I might in the future do.
Non-objective art---like all art---is an invented, absolutely specific and unique experience. My art is not clothed in the guise of the recognizable and I am not interested in subject matter or narrative. My intent is to suggest and allude to and the only definite thing is the exact specificity of the painting itself.
Painters embrace the conversation painting and contribute to that conversation by making their paintings. All painters everywhere and of all times invent ways of making their paintings, and this is what painting is and that is what painters do, each within the confines of personal taste, chosen influences and traditions.
I am and have always been gratefully nurtured, informed and sustained by a profound and unshakable faith in the power of FORMS.
Al Peters was born in Detroit, Michigan and received his BFA and MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He was the recipient of a scholarship to the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Skowhegan, Maine, where he studied with the painter John Button. From 1970 to 1976, Mr. Peters was an instructor in the Fine Arts Department of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. He moved to the Bennington, Vermont area in 1976 where he worked briefly for the artist Kenneth Noland in Shaftsbury, Vermont. Moving to New York City in 1987, he taught Watercolor Painting at the Educational Alliance Art School and has, since the year 2000, been teaching Art History Survey Art & Culture at the Mercy College Manhattan campus at Herald Square. Al Peters has been a member of The Painting Center since 2013. His art has been shown in New York City and Long Island, Minneapolis, Chicago, Vermont and Florida and is in numerous corporate and private collections.