The exhibition will include some 20 new paintings, including large triptychs, as well as 39 works on paper from the Purgatorio series. The show will open on Wednesday, March 6th, with a reception from 6 to 8PM and will remain on view through March 30th.
Peter Sacks reinvents the practice of collage utilizing a striking variety of materials—cottons, burlap, lace,wood, cardboard. Often one will find text typed ontofabric by the artist using a manual typewriter visible justbeneath the final surface of a canvas. The artist refers tohis now signature technique as “excavating in reverse.” By incorporating pieces of fabric as well as actual fragments of clothing from Africa, India, Europe, Syria, and Asia, the paintings achieve a universal humanity,becoming richly textured, fluid views of worlds that areboth familiar and uncharted.
Though charged and fluctuating, the accretive fields are effectively slowed down to allow for all-overcontemplation. Viewers experience everything from ritual, delight, danger, loss or remembrance. In Sacks’s hands, color and pattern are coaxed into cooperation, and the resulting narratives are as visually powerful as they are turbulent. As Leora Maltz-Leca puts it in the exhibition catalog’s essay, “...inSacks’s powerful paintings, we find the textiles calling to each other from various corners of the canvas, shapes mirroring, pigments reverberating, and echoes of form rippling wildly across a field or burrowingthrough a whole triptych.”
Though abstract in essence, elements of the paintings—the twisted, torn, dignified pieces of fabric-- depending upon one’s own past or current vantage point—might evince flowing rivers, flamboyantvegetation, towering totems, shadows, structures or intimate passageways. Everywhere one turns, the humble becomes incantatory.
Peter Sacks was born in 1950 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, and grew up in the coastal city of Durban. Sacks studied at The University of Natal, Princeton, Oxford and Yale. Sacks spent years travelling, most oftentimes on foot, across various parts of South and North America, Africa, Europe and Asia. The artist currently lives and works in New York and Massachusetts.