Over The Influence [Los Angeles] is pleased to present Blood & Soil, an exhibition of new works by internationally renowned Los Angeles-based artist Cleon Peterson. The exhibition features new acrylic-on-canvas paintings, small bronze sculptures, and one large-scale sculpture. In this new body of work, Peterson, a fearless artist, intends to reconcile our violent history with present day violence prevalent across the country. Blood & Soil will be on view from July 8 through August 5, 2018. There will be an opening reception on July 7, from 6 to 9pm.
A celebrated painter of the distressing anxiety and sinister violence in contemporary society, Peterson's bold black, white, and arresting bright red palette ominously complements the savage cruelty he portrays. Harkening the ghosts of past evil, Peterson's works recall the horror in Goya's 'The Third of May 1808'. The resulting paintings are brutal in their depictions of violence which also bring contemporary atrocities to mind.
Peterson's malevolent graphically rendered tableaux are striking and vivid representations in which baleful authoritarian not quite human figures wield weapons, namely nightsticks and guns—paintings of savage, merciless scenes in which powerful men suppress the subjugated through bloodthirsty physical violence. This series acts as a warning against and a timely critique of nationalism, populist fervor, economic disparity and autocratic consolidation of power in today’s world.
Peterson describes the anarchic chaos depicted in his work as 'a gray world where lawbreakers and law enforcers are one in the same; a world where ethics have been abandoned in favor of personal entitlement' forcing us to question what we know what we see and what side are we on?
With his skillful, strange, and unforgettable large figurative tableaux, Peterson forcefully translates the consciousness of carnage and chaos, issuing a powerful indictment against universal violence, past and present. His nightmarish vignettes demand examination; in his works, violence is a nightmare from which we have not awakened.
About Cleon Peterson Born in 1973 in Seattle, Cleon Peterson received a BFA from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Detroit. Solo exhibitions of his work include: The Shadow of Men, Museum of Contemporary Art Denver (2018); Victory, Galerie Du Jour, Paris (2017); The Judgment, Plus One, Antwerp (2016); Purity, Over the Influence, Hong Kong (2016); Poison, Library Street Collective, Detroit (2015); End of Days, New Image Art Gallery, Santa Monica (2014); Daybreak, New Image Art, Los Angeles (2010); The Occupation, New Image Art, Los Angeles (2009). Notable group exhibitions include: Lock Route, Gilman Barraks, Singapore (2017); Lasoco Project, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2014); Postermat, The Hole, New York (2011); Mail Order Monsters, Deitch Projects, New York (2007). He currently lives and works in Los Angeles.