"Peter Gynd | Blanketed: Textiles, Culture and the Landscape" will be the first New York solo exhibition of artist Peter Gynd. Known for his paintings and photographs featuring blanket-cloaked figures staged against patterned backgrounds, landscapes, or interior scenes, Gynd’s work stems from an exploration of the relationships between textiles, regional cultures and landscape.
Gynd approaches the landscape as a conceptual question or ideal notion. Not fundamentally concerned with a literal representation of a place, his work becomes more of an exploration of landscape as identity and how it relates to both the individual and to a broader culture. This relationship becomes mediated in Gynd’s work through his use of blankets, which cloak or veil the figures. While the blanketed forms in the photos respond directly to each location, there is an attempt by the figures to connect and engage with, as well as impose their presence onto the landscape.
Gynd’s paintings take these questions to a more abstract and symbolic level, pairing down actual landscape into symbols: a horizontal line represents landscape; a box with an “X” is symbolic of time, space, home, and nationalistic identity; and the raw canvas is symbolic of ground—both in terms of painting and of earth. The patterned backgrounds reference world textiles and the language that often exists within patterns to describe elements of a landscape. Water—represented by a circular, dripping pool, lake, bowl, or puddle—references purity, cleansing, and the passage of time; the slow but powerful shaper of landscape.
Gynd states that his work “began with a desire to explore a cultural connection to landscape.” Being first generation Canadian and an artist involved with landscape “I started questioning my place in the world and my own cultural connection to the landscape.” This questioning soon expanded into an international exploration with works spanning painting, photography, textiles and video.
The blanketed figures respond to their environments in modes of association, understanding, conquest, and imposition. The pieces display a delicate tension between integration and dominance, and present an ongoing dialog between the individual and his search for a connection to place.
Peter Gynd (b. 1981, Vancouver, Canada) is a fifth generation artist whose practice has a fundamental relationship with landscape. Gynd studied old masters oil painting techniques with his mother and at the Vancouver Academy of Art before receiving a BFA in Glass from the Alberta College of Art & Design in 2006. In 2011, Gynd relocated to New York. He has exhibited works in the US and Canada including at Lesley Heller Workspace, NY; Equity Gallery, NY; Vancouver Island University Exhibition Center, Canada; New Jersey City University Galleries, NJ; Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans, LA; 221A Artist Run Center, Vancouver, Canada; and the Roundhouse Exhibition Hall, Vancouver, Canada.
As an independent curator, Gynd has staged exhibitions at SPRING/BREAK Art Show 2015,; Lesley Heller Workspace, New York; Present Company, Brooklyn, NY; Galerie Protégé, New York; NARS Foundation, Brooklyn, NY; 440 Gallery, Brooklyn NY; the Northside Festival, Brooklyn, NY; Dynamo Arts Association, Vancouver Canada; and a permanent exhibition at the Foundation Center, New York. Peter Gynd lives and works in Brooklyn.