Be Sure To Follow Blogue On Twitter - Follow Us Now!
Home » ART

Cleon Peterson – White Flag – NYC

Images + Post By: | May 19, 201127 Comments

Tonight May 19th, Joshua Liner Gallery is pleased to present White Flag, an exhibition of new paintings by the Los Angeles-based artist Cleon Peterson. This is Peterson’s first solo show at the gallery.If the title of this new body of work suggests a surrender, it’s not the conventional sort. Known for his depictions of graphic violence and depravity, Peterson’s dystopian art rips the lid off of accepted social decorum to unleash aggression and other pent-up impulses. As figures torture, maim, cut, and abuse one another, a surrender to the worst in humanity is staged on the surfaces of the artist’s work—here, it can be safely, cathartically, and even aesthetically enacted. All the deets, after the jump…..

Rendered in acrylic on paper mounted on board, these 14 medium- to large-size works take violence as their symbolic subject. Lifelike but not realistic, Peterson’s figures engage in a kind of kabuki-esque power ritual. In Into Darkness, for instance, seemingly helpless aristocrats are massacred by nondescript “shadow” figures in a theatrical setting of neoclassical architecture. Clad only in briefs, the menacing “shadow” assailants appear hairless and somewhat neuter. Starkly rendered in flat perspective and only two hues—red and black—the contrast between the figures at first seems apparent, but this impression gives way to ambiguities of motive, intent, and culpability.

Even more starkly contrasted, the battlefield of A Balance of Terror is presented in black and white, with black “shadow” figures on horseback and white victims played in pools of blood. Here, again, scenes of torture and murder are status quo, with some figures engaging intermittently in banal chitchat and postures of relaxation. The Practice of Masters takes this moral ambiguity to its natural conclusion: the shadow figures are presented to engage in self-attack, as “brothers” raise knives, broken bottles, and insults against each other.

Though White Flag depicts the most horrendous acts of violence, the compositions are balanced, harmonious, and otherwise pleasing to the eye, displaying a balletic “dance macabre” of torturer and victim. While conjuring up allusions to famous uprisings, such as the French Revolution, the Soweto Riots, or even current images from Libya, the artist, in fact, draws his inspiration from the writings of Friedrich Nietzsche and Carl Jung. Like Nietzsche, Peterson creates a world where contrasting moral schemes result in eruptive hostility. And like Jung, Peterson explores the tension between the conscious ego and repressed “shadow,” the unconscious area of the psyche where rejected and banished self-knowledge gains intensity and is personified.

White Flag starkly contrasts the unemotional ruthlessness of the “shadows” and the white-hot pain of their victims. The shadows hardly show signs of rage in their reductive facial features and indiscriminate malice, while their targets wear expressions of horror and anguish. Though the shadows clearly have the upper hand in these slaughter scenes, the settings’ topiaries and grand foyers suggest that the other side is not entirely powerless. In these ambiguous depictions of innocence and evil, Peterson asks viewers to consider for themselves where their sympathies lie.

Show runs thru June 11th 2011.
JOSHUA LINER GALLERY
548 W 28th St. 3rd Floor
New York, New York 10001
212.244.7415
joshualinergallery.com

Related Posts with Thumbnails

27 Comments »

  • Bradford Ausmus said:

    This weblog appears to get a large ammount of visitors. How do you promote it? It offers a nice unique spin on things. I guess having something useful or substantial to give info on is the most important thing.

  • home water filters said:

    Your ability to communicate these types of information is precisely what many of us want. Simply by revealing your knowledge you help other folks via revealing your own private information. And I’ll let you know now your blogging assisted me personally.

  • Deshawn Creek said:

    I love your blog, fantastic article, many thanks!

  • adderall Strattera said:

    Till death us do part. (Taken from the wedding ceremony).

  • mobiltelefon test said:

    US Government President Barack Obama and other Westerly leaders can keep to push for peaceable modification when possible , Rubin said . But authoritarians in the area have been spooked by the lot of Mubarak .

  • propecia haarbehandlung said:

    Take it easy. (Relax, calm down).

  • karen millen uk said:

    Nice post Amazing, I found your site on Bing looking around for something completely unrelated and I really enjoyed your site. I will stop by again to read some more posts

  • Educational toys said:

    I know this is really boring and you are skipping to the next comment, but I just wanted to throw you a big thanks – you cleared up some things for me!

  • Christina451 said:

    Hi this members
    kosten private krankenversicherung : krankenversicherung beamte
    günstigste private krankenversicherung
    private krankenversicherung im vergleich
    Christina

  • Replicasoakley.com said:

    Great post and straight to the point. I am not sure if this is actually the best place to ask but do you people have any ideea where to get some professional writers? Thanks

  • Replicasoakleys.com said:

    Excellent post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am impressed! Extremely helpful information specially the last part.

  • More Bonuses said:

    I just want to tell you that I’m very new to blogs and absolutely loved this website. Very likely I’m planning to bookmark your blog . You actually have tremendous stories. Bless you for sharing your web-site.

  • check content said:

    I simply want to say I am very new to weblog and definitely liked you’re blog site. Probably I’m likely to bookmark your site . You actually have wonderful writings. Thanks for revealing your web-site.

  • read link said:

    I just want to tell you that I’m very new to weblog and truly enjoyed this blog. Very likely I’m going to bookmark your site . You surely have impressive articles. Bless you for revealing your blog site.

  • check article said:

    I just want to tell you that I am all new to blogs and honestly liked this web page. More than likely I’m going to bookmark your blog post . You amazingly have superb writings. Cheers for sharing your blog site.

  • go to info said:

    I just want to tell you that I am newbie to blogs and definitely savored your blog. Probably I’m planning to bookmark your blog post . You amazingly have excellent article content. Cheers for sharing with us your blog.

  • go to post said:

    I just want to mention I am very new to blogging and site-building and definitely loved your website. Most likely I’m likely to bookmark your blog . You really come with good articles and reviews. Appreciate it for sharing your web site.

  • good website said:

    I just want to tell you that I’m new to blogging and site-building and seriously loved you’re web page. More than likely I’m want to bookmark your website . You actually come with terrific articles and reviews. Bless you for revealing your webpage.

  • great content said:

    I simply want to mention I am all new to weblog and truly savored this web blog. Very likely I’m planning to bookmark your blog . You actually have impressive stories. Thanks for sharing with us your blog site.

  • look at more info said:

    I just want to mention I am very new to blogging and site-building and definitely loved you’re blog. Most likely I’m going to bookmark your blog . You absolutely have very good articles and reviews. Thanks for sharing your webpage.

  • helpful site said:

    I simply want to say I am all new to blogging and site-building and definitely enjoyed you’re page. Probably I’m likely to bookmark your site . You absolutely come with exceptional article content. Cheers for revealing your blog site.

  • forex robots said:

    Thanks for this!

  • helpful site said:

    Thank you for sharing superb informations. Your website is very cool. I am impressed by the details that you have on this blog. It reveals how nicely you perceive this subject. Bookmarked this website page, will come back for more articles. You, my pal, ROCK! I found just the info I already searched all over the place and just couldn’t come across. What an ideal website.

  • John Deere Diagnostic and Test Manuals said:

    Thanks for this post, I am a big fan of this web site would like to proceed updated.

  • best nose trimmer said:

    Hey very cool website!! Man .. Excellent .. Amazing .. I’ll bookmark your web site and take the feeds also…I’m happy to find numerous useful information here in the post, we need work out more techniques in this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .

  • Andre Youtsey said:

    It is the best time to make some plans for the longer term and it’s time to be happy. I have learn this put up and if I may just I wish to suggest you some attention-grabbing issues or tips. Maybe you could write subsequent articles referring to this article. I wish to read even more things approximately it!|

  • exterior home decorating ideas said:

    I was very encouraged to find this site. I wanted to thank you for this special read. I definitely savored every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post. http://www.homedecorated.net

Leave your response!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Say what you feel, just remember NO SPAMMING ALLOWED!

hits counter