Opening Reception: March 10, 2016
Winston Wächter Fine Art, New York is excited to announce an exhibition of new work by Peter Waite. Through large-scale realist paintings of uninhabited architectural spaces highlighted with fluorescent lines and washes, site/sight transforms familiar places into investigations of vision, image making, and memory.
In this series, Waite depicts public spaces that were built for specific activities. Some are transitional areas designed to facilitate the movement of people like stairways, train stations, and hallways. Others depict spaces of leisure or formal assembly such as a swimming pool or a lecture theatre. They are common places that viewers can identify, triggering personal memories of public space. All are empty with a sense that people have just left or will soon arrive. With this latent energy, Waite’s work depicts not only architecture but also the feeling of being present within it.
This energy is heightened by bright synthetic colors overlaid in geometric lines and areas along the borders of the images. These are the colors of safety warnings and emergency vehicles, signs and advertisements—attention-grabbing colors in an attention-deprived society. Waite is looser and more gestural with these lines and drips than earlier work, while the images themselves maintain an aura of almost neoclassical order. The lines suggest an underlying plan as found in architectural diagrams or gridlines used by commercial artists and draftsmen, emphasizing the process of painting itself. They also evoke the unseen physical world—of laser beams, gamma rays, particle movement—indicating action in an otherwise still place. These dynamic lines appear as though they lie just under the surface of the image, creating tension between representation and abstraction, stillness and vibrancy. Through his depiction of common places laced with an uncommon energy, Waite celebrates these oft-forgotten, active spaces encountered in everyday life.
Peter Waite was born in North Adams, MA and currently works and resides in Connecticut. He studied at the Hartford Art School in West Hartford, CT where he received a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he earned a Masters in Fine Arts. Waite has received many awards including the National Endowment for the Arts, the Gottlieb Foundation, the Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Pollock-Krasner Fellowship. Waite’s works have been featured in The New York Times, Art New England, BOMB, Harper’s and Time Out New York. Waite’s paintings are in many public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, the Williams College Museum of Art, and the New Britain Museum of American Art. Some of his commissioned work includes projects for the University of Connecticut; the NASA Art Program in Washington, DC; Pacific Enterprises in Los Angeles; the Waterbury Criminal Court in Waterbury, CT.