Peter Vanderwarker: Vanderwarker’s Cities
Online Exclusive June 5 – July 10 at www.gallerynaga.com
In response to current events, Vanderwarker’s June solo exhibition has taken on an added significance. Known for photographing the world he lives in and travels to, Vanderwarker felt deeply moved to formulate a response to Covid-19.
Five years ago, Vanderwarker built a metal shop in his basement and has been playing around ever since. Slowly this metal-based work has become an important addition to his art-making practice. Vanderwarker and his wife, Richie, have created a series of handmade, metal pins and jewelry bearing Covid-19 slogans. To date, the Vanderwarkers have donated over $8000 through the sale of these creations.
For every photograph purchased from this exhibition, Gallery NAGA and Vanderwarker will donate 10% of the proceeds to the Massachusetts Covid-19 Relief Fund and, in addition, will send you home with a pin of your choice. This exhibition will also include one “metal map” of the Back Bay made by Vanderwarker, the proceeds of which will be donated 100%.
Peter Vanderwarker’s exhibition focuses on the intersection of both the built and natural worlds. He creates compositions with illusions of scale and form and finds shape and line in nature that mimic the architecture he’s known for capturing. For Vanderwarker, these subjects are practically interchangeable. “When I am really looking, I see things and they remind me of other things. The NY Subway becomes a Piranesi carceri. A cliff in Utah becomes the NY skyline. Commonwealth Avenue becomes a river of color, like an Andy Goldsworthy.”
Especially now, when big cities are hotbeds of viral spread, Vanderwarker’s photographs remind us to slow down and to imagine a world without the hustle and bustle. What would that look like? Vanderwarker explains, “Covid has destroyed everything that my wife and I love about cities: the buzz, the shopping, the bars, we just love it all.” Turning to the landscape was a natural pivot for Vanderwarker, “I went to Kaaterskill Falls so I could be with my favorite painter, Thomas Cole. But it was January, so that failed. But I got to stand on the porch of Cole’s studio and that was wonderful. We need Cole now to remind us that the natural world is sacred and that we are part of it.”
Peter Vanderwarker was a Loeb Fellow at Harvard University in 1997 and earned a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley. He has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Graham Foundation and is the author of three books about architecture in Boston. His work is in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Museum of Fine Art, Houston, and the Addison Gallery of American Art in Andover, MA.
Peter Vanderwarker: Vanderwarker’s Cities runs from June 5 – July 10, 2020 and is online-only. Gallery NAGA’s physical location remains closed until further notice.