AboutGranados spent his childhood in a California "Fourth Way School" -- an organization committed to the esoteric practices and "systems of self-development" introduced by early 20th century Russian mystic, G.I. Gurdjieff, and the exhibition title takes its name from the book In Search of the Miraculous by P.D. Ouspensky, who was a student of Gurdjieff's.
Unlike most esoteric organizations that came into being in California during the early 1970's, this one grew prosperous. By the early 1990's it had amassed thousands of international followers and cultivated a fantastic 360 acre property complete with vineyards, orchards, a rose garden, restaurants, a private school for members' children, a Shakespeare company, a ballet company, an art gallery, and several mansions. The group's compound, community, and profound commitment to living a life surrounded by beauty, all made a strong impression on Granados. This surreal experience provided him with a universe of characters, places and ideas which he used for fictional writing and painting. As Granados reflects on his experiences in the group, he sorts through the difference between an apparently wonderful memory and a more sinister shrouded reality.
Granados begins his paintings by writing short stories. All of the stories address what he sees as the fraudulent appropriation of eastern spiritualism prevalent in northern California. Each story is divided into vignettes which are then sub-categorized by scale, color, and density before being placed into a composition. Eventually, the story is abandoned as Granados adjusts to the new demands of the painting's surface, color, or composition. The remaining elements of the story take on a new life in the subsequent paintings, each becoming an anchor for the overall rendering. Large abstract brush strokes and stains are interspersed like punctuation between the formal figurative elements. The paintings hover on the surface of the canvas, unveiling hidden tales upon closer inspection and leading the viewer into a narrative framework that hints at the deeper meaning beneath the charming exterior.
Peter Granados (b. 1989, Chicago, IL) lives and works in Queens and Brooklyn, NY. He received his BFA from Kansas City Art Institute, Missouri 2011. He is a recipient of the 2011-2012 Urban Culture Project Studio Residency, Charlotte Street Foundation. This is his first solo exhibition at Sargent's Daughters.