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PAINTINGS

SELECTED PIECES

    CLICK ON SERIES TITLE • THEN CLICK ON PAINTINGS
  • WALKIN' NY
  • THE WALL
  • DON'T SHED NO TEARS
  • GOOD TIMES
  • ERASURE-Leah Peterson

BIOGRAPHY

PUBLISHED EXCERPTS

"Denis Peterson earned a Painting MFA and teaching fellowship at Pratt Institute where he taught figure drawing while restoring 16th and 17th century Flemish paintings for public museum collections. Among the first Photorealists to emerge in New York, his photorealist paintings were exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum, one of the premier art institutions in the world. His more recent hyperrealist works have shown at major museums and galleries throughout the US and Europe. Many of his groundbreaking paintings can be found among the most notable art collections worldwide.

He is recognized as a primary architect of Hyperrealism, a splinter movement from Photorealism which idealized and fetishized icons of contemporary culture in a detached and at times, banal framework. Abandoning traditional conventions, Peterson illuminated commodification of alternate realities found within that same contemporary culture: mass consumerism, systemic classism and societal decadence. He portrays anonymous ordinary people caught up in contemporary conflicts, neither glorifying nor heroising them. They are simply deserving of having their likeness recorded as any famous person, and more importantly, of having their humanity recognized. A radical painter, Peterson's compelling virtuosity addresses the timeless human condition with precision and dignity.

Denis Peterson's socially conscious paintings are the products of an extraordinary labor of compassion."

Publishings: Art the Whole Story Thames & Hudson / 40,000 Years of Creativity Rizzoli / A Brush Stroke for Every Human Suffering Siletz / Hyperrealism Show 2017 Catalog MOMA Olomouc

MEDIA QUOTES

ART CRITICS/SHOW REVIEWS

Peterson with large airbrushed painting

ARTIST

STATEMENT

My early paintings in the late 1960s and early 1970s were among an emerging new genre, Photorealism, that rapidly became a mainstream school of art following Abstract Expressionism and POP Art. Their photographic appearance was not achieved by meticulously duplicating details in a photo. The illusion was primarily created through subtle tonal changes and inter-relationships of abstract shapes as elements of composition, without which my work would have lost much of its visceral energy.

Airbrushing acrylic paints provided the luxury of blending colors optically, that is, directly on the canvas through glazes. Combined opaque and transparent applications achieved considerably wider tonal articulation in compositional lighting and shading. By not having to plan ahead with pre-mixed colors on a palette, impromptu decisions could be made during the process of simulated image creation; leaving me much greater latitude for spontaneous and immediate adjustments directly on the canvas.

My newer work evolved into a more advanced painting genre, one which I initially termed Hyperrealism - an extension of photorealism, but sans its more conventional aesthetics. It was still photorealism; however, hyperrealism challenged visual perceptions through altered illusions of reality, as opposed to photo-reality.

It is no longer enough to secure the painting as a realist object* in mundane frames of reference, i.e. objectified themes, banal subjects, or staged settings. As a counter culture school of painting, hyperrealism is a visual excursion of alternate realities (hyper-reality) secured in an existential frame of reference: the human condition.

In my genocide series Don't Shed No Tears, for example, sometimes haunting images provoke and challenge our sensibilities, our perceptions, the appearance of reality and of illusion. As paintings, they are challenging aesthetic compositions deliberately designed to confront the ordered, the disordered, the connected, and the unconnected.


"One demonstration of the way photography became assimilated into the art world is the success of photorealist painting in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It is also called super-realism or hyper-realism and painters like Richard Estes, Denis Peterson, Audrey Flack, and Chuck Close often worked from photographic stills to create paintings that appeared to be photographs. The everyday nature of the subject matter of the paintings likewise worked to secure the painting as a realist object.*

The photorealist genre, however, is clearly more than just an attempt to replicate the mechanical action of taking a photograph. It also intervened in a debate that is as old as photography itself: to what extent is a photograph simply a reflection of reality, or to what extent does it mediate the reality it is representing?

The emphasis in photography falls upon the assembling and constructing, rather than the mechanical taking, of a photograph."


Publishings: American Culture in the 20th Century Edinburgh University Press (U.K.) / Biography Tate Modern

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GALLERIES

SALES/COMMISSIONS

ARIELLE MARK

NYC · E Hampton

ariellemark1@gmail.com



GUIDO PERSTERER

Zürich, Switzerland

info@perstererfineart.com



MARCEL STROUK

Paris, France

info@galerie-strouk.fr



THOMAS PAUL

Hollywood, California

info@tpaulfineart.com