Monday, November 22, 2010

Peter Acheson at John Davis Gallery in Hudson NY.

Flag, 2008

I couldn't miss the opening of Peter Acheson's opening at John Davis Gallery on Nov 13.
I've mentioned Peter and his work here on this blog and on maykr many times before.  I've spent a lot of time with him talking about painting - and other things.
These conversations have had a major influence on how I look at painting and how I approach my own painting activity. 

Acheson's work has more often than not challenged my expectations of what a painting can or should be.  More often than not, his work, piece by piece has simply challenged me - directly - about each piece's validity as a work fit for the world.
My struggle to come to terms with the oddest of balls that spring from his hand has been rewarding too.  And even the works which, in the end still flag or fail do so with abandon and ballsy-ness - as should be the case. 

The artist in his formal opening attire.

So, Ok- to separate my relationship with the guy from the stuff he does, I'll say that walking into this show was a thrilling visceral experience, one that triggers a jones to get home and get painting - immediately.  I  relate the experience of entering this exhibit to that of discovering Norbert Prangenberg's work at Betty Cunningham Gallery.  It's funny that the works on the main floor are similar to Prangenberg's work in their slutty application of paint.  Never having done crack or suffered from a debilitating addiction of any kind, I can only guess in my assumption that the sense of walking into either of these two exhibits is like a recovered addict happening upon some den replete with the stuff of his addiction - regained intoxication, but without the torment or guilt.  My response to both these exhibits was the same; reveling in the residue of another's endeavor as if it were my own.
It's funny too that Peter's response to photos of that Prangenberger exhibit mirrored his reflection on his own show just a couple of days ago: "Too conservative."

John Davis' downstairs gallery features a sampling of the different threads of Peter's work, concurrently made, but divergent in intention.  Together they give the impression of a guy that is, at his core, a stick and mud man.

Painting for Ben La Rocco, 2010

So, as I alluded, there are two floors in the gallery, the top floor is predominated by what's been referred to as his vibratory paintings and the bottom being populated with variations of his production.

Martin Bromirski photographing Xochitl

Check out Martin's photos from the opening at anaba.  Also John Davis' website includes a pdf with images of all the works in the exhibit.  The show is up through Dec 5.

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