Sarah Peters

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Roberta Smith, The New York Times —

“[…] Sarah Peters breathes life into an obsession with the art and history of colonial America. The breath comes from a fidgety crosshatch technique rendered in pencil and black ballpoint pen that gives her images both a gauzy drift and an almost fingernails-on-blackboard screechiness.

[…] Ms. Peters revisits the naïve, often awkward motifs of colonial art to make them more complete or realistic. Thus “Dreamer,” a portrait of a man in the angular style of an itinerant painter, has a trio of voluptuous bikini-clad women in the background, perhaps to show what was really on the man’s mind. “Séance” adds intimations of ghosts, or at least moving curtains, to an image of a flower urn, a traditional mourning motif.

But what Ms. Peters really does is make this world seem crazier, suggesting the thinness of the line between the cooked and the raw amid a general atmosphere of chaos and decay. “Still Life With Battle” shows a compote dish of fruit and a background swarming with tiny figures: naked men armed with clubs. And the show’s tour de force, a 20-foot-long drawing titled “Being American,” shows an Arcadian landscape strewn with columns, portrait busts and neo-Classical statues as well as a woman sculptor, contemplating a nude torso.

Ms. Peters’s precedents include Edward Gorey and the early work of both Jim Nutt and Sue Williams.

Her alternately wafting and grating drawing style makes her images feel at once romantic and hardbitten. They may seem to float through the mists of time, but they have a few scores to settle. ”

–From Smith’s review of the show, Being American at Winkleman Gallery, July 13th 2007

Sarah Peters received her BFA from the University of Pennsylvania in 1996 and her MFA from the Virginia Commonwealth University in 2003. She has been awarded multiple residences, including recently, The Fine Arts Work Center, Artist in Residency, in Provincetown, MA; the Marie Walsh Sharpe Studio Grant, in New York; and the John Michael Kohler Arts/Industry, Artist in Residency, in Kohler, WI. Her recent exhibitions have included show at artSTRAND Gallery, Provincetown, MA; The Front, New Orleans, LA; Provincetown Art Association and Museum, Provincetown, MA; and the Morris Museum of Art, Morristown, New Jersey.

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