Catalyzed by personal traumatic experience, Refuge finds the artist – who has traditionally engaged in a representational practice – reevaluating his relationship to narrative painting. As a response to death, the works on view radiate vitality and life through energetic gradients combined with striking structural manipulations. Figuration is replaced with abstraction and dominant narratives find a subtler, more contemplative voice within spare fields of color that evoke reflection.
“I make these because they make me happy,” Gronquist says. “I paint each piece until it takes my breath away. I try to paint things that look like what love feels like, like a warm vibration. I wanted to create colorful paintings that were alive, that appear to radiate light from within.”
“Glitch 1” realizes the artist’s departure from the traditional box form with jagged edges that approximate a pixelated glitch, representing the tension between traditional painting technique and an increasingly digital reality.
“Bold Strokes”, the largest piece in the series, incorporates the use of tulle, placed just below the surface of the piece to create an ethereal, organic form. The fabric alludes to the artist’s characteristic gestural style without the aggressive intonation seen in his previous works. The use of tulle is his paintings is new to the artist and has allowed for increased depth without compromising subtly. When asked if the work is immersive, Gronquist replied, “I’ve nearly not found my way out of it.”
A Solo Exhibition Featuring New Work by Peter Gronquist
Exhibition Dates: June 9 – July 2, 2016
Opening Reception: Thursday, June 9th, 2016 | 6-8 PM
Joseph Gross Gallery
548 West 28th Street, Ground Floor
New York, NY 10001