Opening Reception: April 18th, 6-8pm
Jim Kempner Fine Art is pleased to present an exhibition of recent works by Robert Petersen: Stories from Solar Winds. This will be the artist’s second solo show with the gallery. There will be an opening reception on April 18th from 6-8pm.
Robert Petersen met Robert Rauschenberg in 1969 while working as a printer on Rauschenberg’s Stoned Moon series at Gemini G.E.L print shop in Los Angeles, CA. From 1970 to 1980, Petersen lived with Rauschenberg on Captiva Island in Florida, working together daily. There, the two established Untitled Press in 1971 where they collaborated with many acclaimed artists, such as Cy Twombly, Robert Whitman, Susan Weil and Brice Marden. While on Captiva Island, Petersen developed his own body of abstract drawings and journalistic work. Each of the journal works are born out of monthly sketchbooks, where Petersen collected observations of his daily surroundings: drawings for future pieces, postcards, photographs, musings, calendar clippings and magazine illustrations. At each month’s end, he would distill the highlights of the month into a 20 x 30 inch drawing. Nearly four decades later, these journalistic drawings are the mainstay of Petersen’s work.
In February 2010, Petersen was invited by Bob Blanton of Brand X Editions to collaborate on the portfolio, Homage to Rauschenberg. While working
on the Homage project, Petersen reflected on the memories he shared with Rauschenberg and soon realized that the recollections of his time spent on Captiva were too valuable to go untold. The specific memories from this period inform the lyrical and almost dream-like works in this exhibition.
Expanding beyond Petersen’s customary format, the exhibition includes three 5 x 3 ½ foot silk screens, entitled Detail from One of Bob’s Stories. These large-scale works are the product of Petersen’s collaboration with Brand X Editions on the Homage to Rauschenberg project. The prominent image in these silk screens is Thomas Gainsborough’s iconic painting of The Blue Boy. Gainsborough’s The Blue Boy is one of the first works of art Rauschenberg viewed with the realization that one could become an artist for a living. The memory of Rauschenberg’s epiphany in front of The Blue Boy had soon become one of his favorite stories to tell, and came to hold more significance as Rauschenberg became an established artist. When invited to do the Homage project, Petersen appropriated The Blue Boy image into unique compositions to honor Rauschenberg’s legacy and to reveal the enduring nature of artistic inspirations.
Robert Petersen was born on an Iowa farm in 1945 and currently lives and works in Tivoli, NY. His work has been featured in a number of solo and group exhibitions worldwide, most recently at Gagosian Gallery’s “The Private Collection of Robert Rauschenberg” exhibition in 2011. Petersen’s work is represented in private and public collections internationally, including the Centre Georges Pompidou, Museé National d’Art Moderne, Paris, France; Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; The Museum of Modern Art, NY; Francois Pinault, Venice, Italy; Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, NY; James Rosenquist, Aripeka, FL; Illeana & Michael Sonnabend, NY; Cy Twombly Foundation, Rome, Italy; Universal Limited Art Editions, NY; Peter and Alison Klein, NY; Jim and Rebecca Bradley, NY; John and Sondra Allen, CT.
For more information, please contact Dru Arstark at firstname.lastname@example.org or Sarah Bielicky at email@example.com.