Press Releases December 23, 2013   

New Exhibitions at the University Art Museum

Blue Plastic Bubbles: Paintings by Lamar Peterson
American Playlist:Selections from the University at Albany Art Collections
February 4 through April 5, 2014

Artist’s talk by Lamar Peterson: Tuesday, February 25 at 4:00 pm  
A reception for both exhibitions follows from 5:00 - 7: 00 pm

Free and open to the public.


ALBANY, NY---The University Art Museum is pleased to announce the opening of two new exhibitions: Blue Plastic Bubbles: Paintings by Lamar Peterson and American Playlist:Selections from The University at Albany Art Collections.

Blue Plastic Bubbles: Paintings by Lamar Peterson 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 and lives and works in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He received his M.F.A. from Rhode Island School of Design in 2001. Selected solo exhibitions include Rochester Art Center in Rochester, Minnesota (June 2014); Fredericks & Freiser Gallery in New York; The Studio Museum of Harlem in New York; Richard Heller Gallery in Santa Monica, California; Deitch Projects in New York; and Franklin Art Works in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He has exhibited in numerous group exhibitions including SITE Santa Fe Fifth International Biennial curated by Robert Storr in Santa Fe, New Mexico; The Drawing Center in New York; Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, Missouri; Greenberg Van Doren Gallery in New York; Monya Rowe Gallery in New York; and the Katonah Museum of Art in Katonah, New York.

The exhibition is accompanied by a full-color brochure with an essay by Shane Aslan Selzer.



American Playlistincludes over 125 artworks selected from the University at Albany Art Collections. Cutting a wide swath across American art, history, and culture from the early 1900s through 2012, the exhibition presents the work of iconic American masters such as Edward Steichen, Jacob Lawrence, Robert Rauschenberg, and Andy Warhol alongside lesser known and younger artists including UAlbany alum.
The exhibition considers varied representations and meanings that have defined the American experience and will explore myths and realities that have shaped its legacy. A series of thematic groupings (contested histories, popular culture, the flag, portraits, city /farm, work /leisure) will serve to underscore relationships among the artwork on view.
To extend the democratic curatorial approach, the museum is asking for additional perspectives from members of the university community (faculty, administration, staff, students, and alumni) in the form of a brief written response to a selected work. All responses will be presented next to the work beginning on February 25.
UAS_small black   The exhibitions, related publication, and events are made possible with major support from the UAlbany Office of the President, Office of the Provost, The University at Albany Foundation, UAlbany Diversity Transformation Fund (for Plastic Bubbles: Paintings by Lamar Peterson), University Auxiliary Services, and the Ellsworth Kelly Foundation.      

Media contact: Naomi Lewis, Exhibition & Outreach Coordinator,


[an error occurred while processing this directive]