These paintings are shown in a curious space in that the gallery doubles as Leigh Wen’s studio when art is not shown. You wouldn’t know it by how pristine and professional the space is but the idea is really wonderful. Given the obsession with markets and commodities in this country in general and within the Art World in particular there is something wholesome and refreshing about an artist occasionally turning their space over to other artists for exhibitions.
Currently taking away from Leigh Wen’s studio time is an exhibition of paintings by Al Peter’s which dominate the space due in large part to their garish and intensely sweet colors - at least this is the impression at first glance. A second look reveals that although the color is bright in all the work, some paintings allow gray tones to slip in; albeit still keeping well enough away from any sort of even middle gray. Even so the color puts a huge demand on the senses in part because there is just a bit too much work in the show. These paintings either need more gallery wall real estate around them to be fully seen and appreciated or there needs to be less in number.
Another surprising (and pleasing) aspect of these paintings is the manner in which they are painted. To begin with, Peters employs graphics techniques and qualities to the painting medium. For example he often creates repeated forms using different colors. This might otherwise cause them to read as large monoprints but the artist combines a rich array of paint handling to counter such a notion. Structurally he composes his forms with a nod to the design precision of the grid. But again the latter is kept in check given the variety of the forms, their various dimensions and and color treatment and a balanced inclusion of linear elements. color treatment and a balanced inclusion of linear elements.