Saturday, August 19, 2017

Two Worlds, the Art of Dan Peterson and Christina Painter

Two artists, sharing life as husband and wife, and sharing a passion for exuberant self expression, are featured in Two Worlds, opening Saturday, August 19, with an artist’s reception at 5:30 pm. Florida natives Dan Peterson and Christina Painter live in two worlds, with studios and homes in Miami Beach during the winter months, and in Hillsdale, NY, where they live and work each summer. Both artists have exhibited their work separately in the past however this will be their first joint exhibition.

Two Worlds also describes the two distinctly personal artistic worlds created by the artists in the show.  Sculptor Dan P. Peterson, b. 1957, Key West, FL, earned his BA at Drake University in 1980. He finds inspiration in the organic forms of nature via a collaboration of cognitive action with the inherent nature of his materials. Visitors to the exhibition will be invited in by Peterson’s Tumblers, installed on the front lawn of the gallery. Tumblers are a pair of  5 ft.  x  5 ft.  x  5 ft. abstract figurative pieces that look like white stone but are actually made with industrial foam which the artist fabricates from material recovered from the manufacturer. Peterson is turning material that would have entered the solid waste stream into art. Tumblers are reminiscent of the simplified human forms in Henry Moore’s work but unlike Moore’s passive figures; the contorted yet graceful shapes in Tumblers suggest bodies in constant motion. The imposing pieces have forms going in multiple directions however they are intrinsically balanced. In fact, these sculptures can rest on the ground on any side and still retain their physical equilibrium and aesthetic appeal.

Many of Peterson’s sculptures are created from natural materials like river stones or pieces of twisted wood that the artist reconfigures into fantastic beings conjured from his personal mythology. Some of his more diminutive pieces, like Rocksannand Stone Stepper are made from stone but are lighthearted in spirit. Others, like Deer Skull, ceramic, and Early Man, white marble, showcase the artist’s consummate classical sculpture skills developed during years spent studying stone sculpture in the studio of Master Sculptor, Sem Ghlardini of Pietrasanta, Italy. Peterson also creates accomplished work in drawing and fine art photography, making use of experience gained in his former career as Creative Director at a Miami advertising agency. His work is represented in prominent private and corporate collections, including sculpture commissions for the Grand Bay Resort, Key Biscayne, FL and The Sagamore Hotel, Miami Beach, FL.

Christina Painter, b. 1960, DeLand, FL, was educated at Stetson University, The Art Students League of New York, Franco Francesconi Residency in Ceramic, Pietrasanta, Italy, Philadelphia University Textile Intensive, and has studied with portraitist Daniel Greene in NYC.

Pattern and color dance through her work in playful synchrony. Texture draws us in.  It is not surprising that these formal artistic qualities would be well explored in Ms. Painter’s work. Christina, (the world of couture knew her by her first name) was a top international model for the Ford and Wilhemina agencies and appeared in advertising for dozens of major brands in Europe and the U.S. throughout the 1980s and 90s.

She uses vintage laces pressed into porcelain and fired in her kiln to become wall-mounted or sculptural pieces. Some of these get broken down in fragments which in turn become the elements from which the artist creates her recent series of bas-relief expressionist portraits which she refers to as quaintrelles. An online dictionary defines the word quaintrelle as: “A woman who emphasizes a life of passion expressed through personal style, leisurely pastimes, charm, and cultivation of life’s pleasures.”

In Painter’s homage to Marlene Dietrich, Marlene, porcelain on board, 31″ x 19″ x .75″, the subject is drenched in attitude and style, regarding us from behind her cigarette holder against a super-saturated pink background; a quaintrelle indeed.

The show will feature several large-scale figurative paintings in vinyl matte paint on paper. In a series of work called Alter Ego, strong lyrical lines define the self-referential subjects. They are rich in psychological content realized in complex floral and lace patterns pulsating in cobalt blue and pinks.

The most playful of Ms. Painter’s adorned, embellished and quirky “quaintrelles” are embodied in her mixed media sculptures of whimsical animals like Mon Cherie Chickadee, 18″ x  6″ x 15″, whose paper-textured surface is decorated with intricate linear patterns and topped off by a crown of lavender  boa feathers. The off-kilter stance and droll funkiness of her sculptures add an exclamation point of fun to Christina Painter’s compelling oeuvre. The quaintrelle element running through all of her work seems to be saying, “Use the china every day, stop and smell the roses and live life with passion and meaning.”

Christina Painter has exhibited in Florida, New York, and New England. Her work is in private collections throughout the U. S.

Two Worlds, the art of Dan Peterson and Christina Painter, will run from August 19th through October 4,, 2017 atNeumann Fine Art, 65 Cold Water Street, Hillsdale, New York. Gallery hours are 11 – 4 Thursday – Sunday and by appointment.