Apr 30 – May 29, 2021 at Gallery NAGA
This past year has solicited a broad range of results from artists–some have been unable to focus or even visit their studio spaces while others have been more productive than ever. Peter Brooke fits in the latter category, having used an abundance of time and isolation to create a complex body of moody and mysterious landscape paintings.
Peter Brooke: Light Slides will open to the public on Friday, April 30. Due to Covid-19 precautions, there will be no public reception for the artist. Gallery NAGA’s hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 11 to 5, with no appointment necessary. The artist will be present on May 15 and 22, from 1-4pm to chat with visitors.
Brooke’s paintings are fabrications based solely on memories of his travels and surroundings. Neither specific as to place or time, all the paintings share a metaphysical quality.
Intuitively reacting to the landscape, he paints using an additive and subtractive process: dark paint is laid over a lighter ground and scraped away to reveal the layers beneath. The landscapes confront and recede from the viewer revealing a variation of distance and perspective. In the painting, Subsidence, a low marshland in the foreground is pressed up against a prairie receding to the distance until that too meets its end–a dark, foreboding sky. Each area is moodily and mysteriously lit–it’s the last glow before the storm arrives.
Brooke, as always, manages to draw viewers into a world of imaginary scenery capturing not only the physical beauty but also the evanescence of each feeling. The absence of any figures or human life allows viewers to become solitary characters in each new environment, allowing them to meditate on the tension between nature and the intangible emotion of impermanence it inspires.
Brooke’s work is in the permanent collections of Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven CT, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and most recently into the Harvard Art Museum, Cambridge, MA.