Opening Reception: Friday, October 21, 2011, 5–7 PM
In his seductively complex evocations of nature at its most abstract, Peter Burega speaks to the contradictions of the world around us, as well as to those inside his own head. He juxtaposes a rigid, gridlike structure with explosions of pure color and energy, exploring overlapping realms of stillness and action, of manmade artifacts coexisting with natural phenomena, to produce paintings that at once soothe and excite, that stimulate and sedate.
The dualities that inform Burega’s work reflect the internal storms of creativity that have led him from his initial vocation as a concert pianist to careers as a corporate lawyer, later a television producer, and, finally, a painter. To bring his restless, turbulent energy under control, he scores his surfaces with a deep grid to establish limits and structure, then works within that framework to let his intuition and creative impulses roam.
“I started out as a landscape painter,” he says, “and even now there’s always a central compositional element—it’s never just pure abstraction. The grid lets me distill multiple images into a single piece; I can meld a neon-lit urban scene with the natural light of a landscape, like sunlight reflecting off water or shining through clouds.”
Using a single tool, a scraper, Burega adds layer after layer of paint, then lets his images emerge spontaneously as he digs back through the layers, removing paint as he goes. “My process is more a subtractive one than an additive one,” he explains, “which allows me to bridge minimalism and traditional landscape painting. You don’t see the landscape, but it’s there. There’s always a small piece which, if you were to blow it up, would be a landscape.”
The paintings that result from this collision of control and chaos depict the resolution of these opposing forces, embodying the literal and the metaphorical as a single, cohesive expression.
Contact Information: Nancy Hunter,505.984.2111, firstname.lastname@example.org