Thursday, March 13, 2008

Charles Cohan's Airfield Exhibition at Curator

Saturday, March 15 6:30 - 8:30 pm

curator's office
1515 14th street nw
suite 201
washington, dc 20005
+ 202.387.1008
gallery hours: Wed - Sat, 12 - 6 pm and by appointment.

Charles Cohan,
Airport Terminal Series, carborundum collagraph prints, 22" x 22" each, 20

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Urbancode's Burning River Arts. Blogs by Arabella

Mini Interview with artist Peter Gordon

Urbancode: You work in both oil and in color pencil. Can you tell me a little about the difference between working with the two--in relation to your work of course.

Peter:Freedom and discovery are the major differences in my approach to drawing and painting. These differences largely account for the varying visual tendencies
between the work.
The pencils’ sharp points lend to a slow, gradual buildup of thousands of lines. Compared to the versatility of brush sizes and paint consistencies, the manner in which compositional form arrives is quite different. Preparation time for the two methods also contrasts, affecting the mindset and process involved in each. Literally, a new piece of paper is
taped up, utensils are sharpened and away it goes. Over several weeks, spontaneous layers of lines build form in a very loose way. These drawings offer freedom from the focused concentration that accompanies the building of supports and lengthy drying times of oil paint. In this way, drawing offers a careless, childlike experience that serves as a great mental stretch before painting.
In the paintings, potential for visual discovery, as dozens of layers evolve over months, overshadows that potential in the drawings. The paintings live, die and come back to life with the addition and removal of paint. It’s an unsure game of give and take. In comparison, the drawings are limited to an eventual darkening of a clean sheet of paper.

Urbancode: Your pencil work has an obsessive quality with its Twombly-esque scribblings, but in your recent works in oil, you seem to have tempered that obsessiveness. Can you tell me about that?

Peter: Following weeks of drawing, I began this series of eight oil paintings. Their more subdued, considered style wasn’t predetermined. Usually, I’d observe each piece for hours for roughly every ten minutes of actual painting; a stark contrast to the endless, almost mindless accumulation of line in the drawings. In painting, major changes happen quickly, taking the
piece, for better or worse, in a different direction. The months long process involves a deep commitment that, in the end, confiscates part of me. The struggle needed to create from the heart is an artist’s strained obligation. That said, the paintings lack a sort of playful immediacy that lives happily in the careless activity of scribbling.

Urbancode: What is your subject-matter?

Peter: At its core, my art is a statement about the power of nature and unexpected circumstances over our lives. The forms resemble my impression of the natural world.
The work is fueled by my desire to learn and evolve through experience.

Urbancode: Thanks for doing this urbancode mini interview Peter!!

Peter Gordon was born in 1978 in western Massachusetts, where he lived with his family until 2004. From an early age he was encouraged to draw and explore his imagination. Nature hikes and outdoor activities were common in the beautiful countryside of Berkshire County. The
four distinct seasons and wooded, mountainous landscape inspires his work to this day. In 2000, Peter studied painting and art history in Florence, Italy for six months. In 2002, he received a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Art from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. In 2007, Peter earned his Master's Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Maryland College Park. His work has been included in numerous group exhibitions and has been the subject of two solo shows.
Currently, Peter resides in College Park, Maryland and is an active artist in the Washington DC. area.