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Ben Peterson / Zach Bruder, May 13 – June 1
Zach Bruder / Louise Bourgeois, June 3 – June 22
Louise Bourgeois / R. Crumb, June 24 – July 13
R. Crumb / Barry McGee, July 15 – August 4

Opening: Saturday, May 13, 11am
Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 11am – 6pm

Ratio 3 is pleased to announce the fourth phase of our current exhibition, The Present Tense. On Saturday, May 13, The Present Tense will transition from a two-artist exhibition of works by Miriam Böhm and Ben Peterson to a new two-artist pairing, featuring ceramic sculptures by Ben Peterson and recent works on canvas by Brooklyn-based painter Zach Bruder.

Though working in different media, Peterson and Bruder address a range of mythologies, both cultural and personal, offering new interpretations of familiar forms and stories. Drawing influence from modernist architecture and the design of functional objects, Peterson’s sculptures are constructed intuitively, alluding to imagined architectural histories or futuristic possibilities. Bruder’s paintings similarly borrow from the past, repurposing and combining ubiquitous images into humorous and allegorical compositions.

Bruder’s canvases reflect the artist’s immediate and playful approach to image-making; paint is applied in a loose style that borrows equally from modernism and illustration. The resulting images are direct, flattened, and legible, all in service of Bruder’s inventive approach to story-telling. Bruder’s images are figurative and comical, referencing folklore while finding new metaphors in simple objects and creatures. Through his unique blend of humor and earnest depiction, Bruder acknowledges myths and stories as sources of comfort, while questioning how they might also be used as manipulative tools.

Whether by imagining an alternative future, or by borrowing and reinterpreting forms and imagery from a collective past, both Peterson's sculptures and Bruder’s paintings offer personal and urgent responses to the social and political moment in which they were produced.

The Present Tense emphasizes the perpetual nature of artistic thought and production. It is a platform to introduce new practices, reinterpret familiar bodies of work, and respond immediately to artists in an urgent moment. The Present Tense is a group exhibition drawn across time, a series of two-artist conversations, a continuous rotation surveying several artists’ practices, and an invitation for discourse.