Thursday, October 25th
6 to 8 p.m.
Irving Petlin’s mastery as a draftsman and as a colorist is unmistakable in his outstanding current series, Storms: After Redon. Working on irregular sheets of handmade paper in the unforgiving but radiant medium of pastel, Petlin executes the act of drawing as a gamble between control and risk. Underlying the series is Petlin’s subtle and persistent commitment to history and its telling.
Over a long and successful career that began in Chicago in the late fifties, grew in Paris in the early sixties, brought him to Los Angeles in the mid-sixties, saw him in New York from 1967 until 1989, and finds him now living between Paris and New York, Petlin has been recognized as a master of both his craft and poetical narrative. Past suites of pastels have been inspired by Primo Levi, Bruno Schulz, Paul Celan, Edmond Jabès, and Johann Sebastian Bach. This current series dedicated to Odilon Redon brings Petlin back to the very beginnings of his life as an artist, when he was a high school student taking classes at the Art Institute of Chicago. It was in the Institute’s Drawing Room that Petlin first discovered Redon. Years later Petlin would describe the encounter with Redon’s work as “looking into a pool of water . . . down towards the bottom [where] you see your own shape.” It was there that Petlin first took the measure of himself, his craft, and his art.
Petlin’s work is in major collections both in the US and abroad, including those of the Art Institute of Chicago; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Jewish Museum, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Philadelphia Museum of Art; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
For further information, please contact Douglas Walla (email@example.com) or Jeanne Marie Wasilik (firstname.lastname@example.org). Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 am to 6 pm.