Peter Soriano: Panorama
Galerie Jean Fournier, 22 Rue du Bac, 75007 Paris
21 November 2013 - 4 January 2014
From the Press Release
Panorama is an exhibition of recent works by Peter Soriano, which are formed of a dialogue between a monumental wall painting and a group of new works on paper.
2012 marked a turning point in the Soriano oeuvre. Abandoning the steel cable, aluminium tubing and spraypak lines and symbols of the previous few years, he began working in a more pared-down but more complex vein. ‘The work has been reduced to its essence,’ he says. ‘The three-dimensional elements have been flattened and merged with the paint on the wall. The work is more complex because once cut back, with the wires and cables gone, it can be more difficult to grasp. The relation between the work and the space it occupies becomes less tangible, more theoretical.’
Made specifically for the exhibition, the large wall painting shows us what the artist sees from his studio in Maine, overlooking four steep rock faces that recur in the composition as irregular quadrilaterals. The artist considers his wall paintings as landscapes, whence the exhibition’s title: Panorama. The sprayed parts are looser and contrast with the linear contours of the quadrilaterals and rectangles. The narrow, sharply defined lines suggest three-dimensional spaces, while the arrows guide the viewer’s eye.
Soriano lists the instructions for creating the work in a separate document providing ‘guided spontaneity’. He sometimes compares his works to musical scores, with some of the details left to the discretion and imagination of the person reproducing the work.
As it follows the visual itinerary, the eye gradually discovers the ‘panorama,’ which, unfolding like a sentence along the gallery wall, leads us to the space beneath the skylight. In the works on paper, independent echoes of the wall painting, we again find the lines, arrows, circles, annotations and shadow areas, but in conjunction with more figurative elements. On overlaid, irregularly folded sheets of Japan paper Soriano renders what he sees and the movement that results when he lets his gaze wander through the space he is transcribing - often that of his home or studio. He calls these works ‘site’ drawings.
Deployment of a variety of media - spray paint, graphite, watercolour - gives the works on paper a more diverse chromatic range. The graphic marks, the lines, the letters reminding us of the exhibition title and the traces left by the folding process combine to convey the movements of the artist’s eye.
Panorama, then, is a group of works in which the eye is the driving force, from the artist’s creative gaze through to the viewer’s own movements.