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.
Lamar Peterson was born in 1974 in St. Petersburg, Florida; received his MFA from Rhode Island School of Design in 2001. He has had previous solo exhibitions at The Studio Museum of Harlem, New York; Richard Heller Gallery, Los Angeles; Deitch Projects, New York; and Franklin Art Works, Minneapolis, MN. He has exhibited in numerous group shows including the Fifth International SITE Santa Fe Biennial curated by Robert Storr, Santa Fe, NM; The Drawing Center, New York, NY; The Kemper Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO; The Ulrich Museum, Wichita, KS; and the Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah, NY.
Acrylic on canvas
22 ½ x 26 inches
Collection of the artist