In the Curatorial Research Lab, we are pleased to present OptikNerve, a wall painting by Gary Petersen, organized by Doreen McCarthy. Petersen, a painter who works on wood panels and paper activated by synthetic colored, geometric abstraction, has created two previous wall paintings including a large scale piece in Wall Works at The Painting Center (New York, 2011). After the Wall Works exhibition, a discussion ensued between McCarthy, a sculptor, and Petersen regarding the challenge of working in a fixed space where the artwork was both painting and installation. Wall painting as a medium has its origins in the very earliest history of painting from the caves of Lascaux to Medieval frescos as well as within the current purviews of graffiti, modernist muralists. The shift from a traditional support that is portable and intimate to an enlarged scale that is a temporary work in conversation with and transformation of the architecture of a unique space, was the impetus for Petersen and McCarthy to engage the Curatorial Reseach Lab. The radical enlarging of planes, angles, wedges, and areas of color in Petersen’s small paintings transform the visual experience of viewing an object d’art to entering into and experiencing the painting as a 3-dimensional environment.
Gary Petersen was born in Staten Island, New York. He holds a B.S. degree from The Pennsylvania State University and an M.F.A. from The School of Visual Arts. Awards have included The Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation, Space Program 2010-2011, in Brooklyn, New York, The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Painting Fellowship Award for 2011, 2002,1993 and the Visual Arts Fellowship Award, Edward F. Albee Foundation, 1988. His work has been exhibited widely in New York City and throughout the United States. He has had solo exhibitions at Michael Steinberg (New York), 2005; Fusebox (D.C.), 2004; Genovese/Sullivan Gallery (Boston), 2002 & 1999; White Columns (New York), 1992. Recent group exhibitions have included Jason McCoy Gallery, Theodore Art, Storefront Bushwick Gallery, Edward Thorp Gallery, Mckenzie Fine Art, Lori Bookstein Gallery, Allegra La Viola Gallery, The Painting Center, Sue Scott Gallery, The Bronx River Art Center. Past group exhibitions include Janet Kurnatowski, Lohin-Geduld, Geoffrey Young Gallery, Triple Candie, Plus/Ultra (Winkleman) Gallery, Nicole Klagsbrun, Diverse Works (TX), Newark Museum and The American Academy of Arts and Letters Invitational Exhibition in 1993. His work has been reviewed in Art in America (2012 and 2005), The Wall Street Journal, The New York Sun, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and The Partisan Review. He currently has a studio at The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts in New York City and resides in Hoboken, New Jersey.
Doreen McCarthy is a sculptor based in New York. Her work has been exhibited in numerous group and solo projects in the United States and internationally in Europe and Japan. In 2013 McCarthy had solo projects at Indiana University, Columbus, Indiana, Galerie Junger, Shanghai, China and a public project in the lobby of the 200 Friedrichstrasse, a Philip Johnson building in the Mitte neighborhood of Berlin.