Gary Petersen

Over the past ten years my abstract paintings migrated to a hard edge geometric style.  But using hard edge, for me, does not mean adhering to a minimal or reductive ideology.  I have begun working to bring into the formal, symmetrical, and impersonal tradition of geometry a lyrical unpredictability.  I use color to add the personal with an American pop sensibility.
 I am interested in how advertisers, designers and pop culture have mined the long tradition of geometric abstraction for their designs.  Book covers, record album covers, and magazine advertisements, particularly in the decades of the 1950’s and 60’s reflect this use.  I wish to do the reverse, looking back at those designs and using those in my work.  Growing up in the sixties, I was surrounded by this world of fifities/sixties “design.”  Cartoons were my landscape.  The Jetsons is just one cartoon example that influences my work.  My paintings also play with complex spatial ambiguities, perhaps with a science fiction bias.  Layering and colors that reflect the bygone optimism in design and animation from the early 1960s is also present.