Claire Oliver Gallery in Central Harlem, NY, is pleased to announce When you see them, you see methe first solo exhibition of the artist Robert Peterson.
With 13 life-scale figurative oil-on-canvas paintings, Peterson aims to capture time through his art, highlighting black family life as joyful, loving, and balanced.
Very often, black men and women are unfairly stereotyped, and fractured family dynamics are what the media and popular culture choose to highlight.
Peterson sees her work as an opportunity to turn the tale on its head and shine a light on the strength, resilience and gentleness of the black community that is almost never highlighted.
“This exhibit is extremely personal to me because it showcases the balance I have in my own life as a husband and a father, as a black man,” Peterson says. « I create my work with the idea of correcting the historical record. In 500 years, I want viewers to see normalcy, peace, and harmony with my subjects – black people, and black families in particular, which stand in contrast to the often negative popular narrative. I want my subjects to have the chance to live forever through my work.
Peterson’s works explore the mundane as a radical act of visibility for black Americans, refining her work to focus on the black family and drawing on her own experiences. Peterson’s monumental oil-on-canvas paintings depict black people as both ordinary and regal, replacing iconographic insignia with the everyday and cropping “crowns” embellished with rags and jeans.
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His works are homages to the quiet heroism of everyday life and challenge the politicized gaze on black people.
His characters’ skin tones are rendered in rich polychromy: a joyous and exuberant expression of love for black skin.
Over the past decade, Peterson has gone from his self-taught origins to exhibiting his work in renowned galleries and art fairs in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami.
In 2016, he was the first black artist selected “Artist of the Year for Southwest Oklahoma” by the Oklahoma Arts Council.
The following year, he became Spectrum Spotlight Artist of the Year at Art Basel in Miami.
Robert Peterson born in 1981, is a contemporary artist specializing in figurative painting with a concentration on portraiture.
Currently lives and works in Lawton, Oklahoma. Peterson is quickly rising as one of this country’s most celebrated emerging artists.
He aims to create beautiful works of art that reflect a softer side of black people while showing their strength and resilience, which he says is not seen and displayed enough in galleries and museums.
The Claire Oliver Gallery is located in downtown Harlem in a four-story brownstone. For nearly 25 years, the Claire Oliver Gallery has presented and celebrated works of art, with a focus on the work of women and people of color, that transcends and challenges the historical canon of traditional art. Our cutting-edge curriculum and exclusive commitment to the primary market allows for an intensive focus that has nurtured and developed the careers of our artists.
Many of the gallery’s artists have been included in the Venice Biennale, the Whitney Biennale and the biennials of Sydney, Pittsburgh and Lyon and have exhibited work in major international museums including the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Center Georges Pompidou. , the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, among others.
Claire Oliver Gallery artists are part of the permanent collections of many important museums around the world, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, Tate Britain, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the State Hermitage Museum, the MoMA and the Museum of Arts. and Design among many others.
Claire Oliver Gallery curated the first American exhibition for the Russian collaboration AES+F, whose work went on to represent Russia twice in the Russian pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Gallery artists have received prestigious grants, including Fulbright, Guggenheim, USArtist, and National Endowment for the Arts.
Claire Oliver Gallery, 2288 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard, New York, NY 10030, www.claireoliver.com
Photo credit: 1) Crown of Righteousness, 2) Big as thieves. By Claire Oliver Gallery.
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