SUPER OPTIC: Brian Caraway & David Allan Peters
APRIL 6TH-MAY 19TH, 2012
The act of seeing can be both delightful and mentally challenging. Upon close observation, what first appears as one thing may reveal itself as another. Vision becomes active interaction. The works of Brian Caraway and David Allan Peters embody perceptual subtlety and meticulous detail that invite fully engaged viewing.
In Super Optic, Oakland-based artist Brian Caraway presents reductivist paintings and sculptures that incorporate line, pattern and the reverberation of color creating “a dance between the eye and brain.”1 Caraway’s work mines geometric abstraction from the 1950’s and ‘60’s, including Hard-edge Painting (as in Karl Benjamin), Op Art (Bridget Riley) and Minimalist painting (Frank Stella), all of which were indebted to the pioneering color studies of Bauhaus-influenced Josef Albers. Caraway, along with other artists working in these genres, is fascinated by the phenomenon of seeing. In particular, his work explores illusory depth created through morphing patterns and how specific relationships between colors can influence their very appearance. Caraway introduces a contemporary freedom of materials--combining acrylic paint with vinyl, ink and other drawing materials, and working in an open-ended range of media including painting, printmaking, video and sculpture.
Los Angeles artist David Allan Peters works primarily in painting but has recently produced ink collages and sculptures, all of which are featured in Super Optic. While Caraway’s work may evoke that of Karl Benjamin, Peters actually studied with Benjamin at Claremont Graduate University, where he also worked with Light and Space artist James Turrell. Both geometric abstraction and Minimalism have influenced Peters’ aesthetic. Despite their painstaking process, his works are based on simple abstract forms. Their surface complexity encourages viewers to move around his paintings and sculptures in order to visually comprehend them. Stratified paintings are comprised of dozens of colorful layers of acrylic paint, the build-up of which is visible from the sides. Front surfaces are generally one of two directions— smooth monochromatic fields with colorful “craters” where the artist carved through the upper layers, or an all-over chipped surface of hundreds or thousands of tiny gouges. Removing material to reveal under-layers of color recalls the sanded-through painted surfaces of Ken Price’s ceramic sculptures. Peters, however, is working with paint layers not as coating, but as construction. While his paintings cross into the realm of sculpture, Peters’ wall and tabletop sculptures are made with the detritus of his paintings, which he chops into cubes and adheres together into colorfully striped, crystal-like forms. Sometimes compared to geological strata, Millefiore glass or ribbon candy, Peters’ accretive use of acrylic paint is evident in the work’s final appearance. In this day of mechanical and computer-aided tools, however, such industrious handwork is not assumed on first glance and is astonishing once realized.
Brian Caraway, artist statement
About the Artists
Brian Caraway lives and works in Oakland, CA. He received his BA in painting and printmaking at San Francisco State University in 2000 and his MFA from Mills College in Oakland in 2009. He has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Brooklyn, NY, Portland, OR and throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, including CREAM from the top at Richmond Art Center in 2009, a two-person exhibition at SF Arts Commission Gallery in 2004 and a solo exhibition at San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral in 2010. This is Caraway’s third exhibition at Chandra Cerrito Contemporary.
Raised in the Bay Area and currently residing in Los Angeles, David Allan Peters received his BFA at the San Francisco Art Institute in 1997 and MFA at Claremont Graduate University in 2000. His work has been exhibited internationally since 1999, including in Italy, New York, Atlanta, Washington State, and throughout California. His work will be featured at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, VA in 2013. This is Peters’ third exhibition at Chandra Cerrito Contemporary and his tenth exhibition curated by Chandra Cerrito.