Mary Ann Peters, "and the edge becomes the center"

October 8, 2009—November 14, 2009

James Harris Gallery is pleased to present our third exhibition by Mary Ann Peters. Titled and the edge become the center, this show includes large-scale paintings and intimate works on paper. The artist’s practice is a marriage of painting and drawing. In her large scale paintings, Peters uses washes of pigment that lay the ground for abstract lines, confetti splashes of yellow, umber and blue, calligraphic pirouettes, sweeping curves and minor skirmishes that float across the surface. The images allude to landscape in a state of flux. Scenarios are suggested and tumble in and out of view, leaving a sense of place misplaced. What remains is the sensation of an event in passing, time worn but active.

In a series of small scale works on paper, Peters’ orients a rich warm white rectangle at various locations on a sheet of paper. Within this rectangle, the artist has placed a simple, gestural mark. Its shape becomes a record of the movement of the artist’s hand and each work records the autonomy of the mark.

The artist’s most recent work has focused on large scale sited projects both here and abroad in which she responds not only to the particular architecture but also to its location. Using thematic sources derived from diverse topics, such as science or music, these monumental works set up a narrative in the environment that would not be there otherwise. While her vocabulary is largely abstract and ethereal, in the abstraction realities are suggested that are familiar, giving points of departure for the imagination.

A color catalogue highlighting over 25 years of work will be published concurrently with this show, with text by Frances DeVuono and Chris Bruce.

Download the press release

"and the edge becomes the center" 2009
"and the edge becomes the center (note)" 2009
"Untitled 3" 2009
"taganga" 2009
"thinking drawing" 2009
"chimera" 2009
"double phantom" 2009
"what the marks mean" 2009
"what the marks mean" 2009
"what the marks mean" 2009
"what the marks mean" 2009

Mary Ann Peters

“I work from the premise that images are never neutral and that they sustain layered meaning from the inception of an idea to the completed piece. Historical narratives, architecture, science, personal heritage, politics and questions of perception have all played a part in my thinking over the years.  I look for seemingly disparate elements that can coalesce and redefine a topic.  I have traveled extensively, most frequently in non-Western cultures. Traveling has informed my understanding of the global roots of aesthetics. It consistently defines for me those social practices that provide outlines for cultural inquiry, including which ethical questions should be considered or supported. In the end I work to the afterimage of the viewer and the potential discourse that might ensue.  The kiss of death for any artist is the work that no one can remember.”

- Mary Ann Peters

Mary Ann Peters lives and works in Seattle, WA  She received an MFA from the University of Washington in 1978. She has received numerous awards including an Art Matters Foundaton Grant, New York that allowed her to travel to Paris and Mexico City to research the migration from the Middle East after World War II, a grant from The New Foundation, Seattle in 2014,  a MacDowell Fellowship in 2010, a Jentel residency in 2009, the Northwest Institute of Architecture & Urban Studies in Italy (NIAUSI) residency in 2003 and the Neddy Fellowship from the Behnke Foundation in 2000. Collections include Microsoft, Seattle Art Museum, 4Culture, Tacoma Art Museum, and others.