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Ara Peterson: Wavepacks
June 29–August 3, 2013
Ratio 3, 2831A, Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
Opening Reception: Saturday, June 29, 4–6pm
Press Preview: Saturday, June 29, 3–4pm

Ratio 3 is pleased to present Wavepacks, a solo exhibition of new work by Ara Peterson. This exhibition, Peterson’s fourth solo show at the gallery, will include eight new wall-relief sculptures that explore the hollow, arched forms of naturalistic wave-shapes.

Over the past decade Peterson’s sculptures have used familiar materials, paint and wood, to counterintuitive ends. Peterson drafts patterns based on imagined forms and the kinetic attributes of wave formation. Each sculpture, realized with layers of painted wood, prompts viewers to reconcile the stasis of rigid materials with the dynamism of undulating visual bands. While the patterns suggest motion and malleability, the unique incongruities of hand-painted, organic materials reveal the significant labor underpinning the illusion of each surface.

The works comprising Wavepacks offer arresting abstractions familiar to Peterson's earlier works, but with an emphasis placed on the implicit scale and environment of each object. Throughout this latest body of work, Peterson creates forms that evoke expansive, otherworldly environments as readily as they embody emerging, transforming figures. With more nuanced color systems accompanying more complex forms, Peterson’s latest surfaces achieve a painterly and uncannily fluid appearance.

Ara Peterson lives and works in Providence, Rhode Island. Born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1973, Peterson earned a degree in Film, Video, and Animation at the Rhode Island School of Design in 1997. His recent exhibitions include: XSTRACTION, The Hole, New York (2013); Neon Grey, Loyal Gallery, Malmo, Sweden (2012); and Transmission LA: AV Club, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2012). Peterson’s work is part of numerous public collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; Deste Foundation Centre for Contemporary Art, Athens, Greece; The Progressive Art Collection, Cleveland, OH; Albright-Knox, Buffalo, NY; and the Berkeley Museum of Art and Pacific Film Archive, CA.

“… Inside they find rooms of every conceivable geometric shape, ranging from perfect cubes to triangles to stars. The rooms are of varying size, but average 30 feet by 30 feet in floor space with ceilings 20 feet high. All portable items are absent from the huge rooms, but they photograph and/or sketch Bas-relief carvings running in horizontal bands from floor to ceiling along the walls. The carved figures and arabesques within the banded friezes are periodically interrupted by cartouches of dots. Other rooms are carved with maps and astronomical charts. They come upon a perfect section of carving and are forced to face the truth.”

– H.P. Lovecraft, At the Mountains of Madness