Works on Paper
Jan 5 – Feb 11, 2006
James Harris Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Seattle artist Mary Ann Peters. The show of small and large scale works on paper is her first solo exhibition in five years. Peters creates atmospheric space by building her own encompassing universe of form, line and color. Inspired by her Lebanese heritage, Peters’ work investigates a combination of Western aesthetic elements with Arabic influences. This cross-cultural interest gives Peters’ work a unique personal vocabulary.
These new intimate and powerful drawings act as queries first and foremost. For the artist, they question the nature of place, cornered and defined by biomorphic forms, architectural markers, ambiguous atmospheres, and the influence of perspective both near and far. Fleeting references intertwine to form both microscopic and macroscopic abstract pictorial landscapes. In this fine-spun and ethereal exploration of constructed space each mark adds to a dialogue between figure and ground: shapes, lines and colors overlap and fit together to create an illusory world.
Peters’ unique formal vocabulary uses a combination of Arabesque lines, organic shapes and washes of graphite and color. The fluidity of dark lines draws from her interest in Arabic calligraphy. Driven by something largely felt, or initiated by and guided within intuition, these elements combine to give her work a rhythmic spontaneity and complexity.
Sensuous in their forms and inviting in their reference to a personal territory, Peters’ work maps a response to a place either real or imagined. In most cases the drawings build on details that one could find in reality but never in that particular configuration. They are abstractions anchored by the possibility that the elements exist. With her sumptuous layering of mustard yellow and contrasting green and ochre washes, Peters creates a world in which we can all share.