February – April 2014
Featuring paintings, works on paper, and mixed-media collage, this exhibition looks at the last ten years of Peterson’s darkly comic portrayals of the American Dream. Inspired by CNN, children's books, elementary school bulletin boards, and horror movies, Peterson is best known for his candy-colored, meticulously-rendered narrative paintings of the black suburban everyman and his nuclear family. Ever smiling, these characters occupy sunny beaches and well-manicured lawns oblivious to the host of perversions in their midst. Zombies cavort with the kids while parents drown nearby, limbs fly, heads roll, locusts descend, and still everyone “parties on.” Churning just beneath the surface of Peterson’s happy family facades lurk larger issues surrounding race, community, economic uncertainty, and social upheaval, and it is here that Peterson’s satiric edge cuts most sharply.
The Window (detail), 2010
Acrylic on canvas on wood panel
55 x 44 inches