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The opportunity to experience Roland Petersen’s artistic journey once more through the primacy of his works on paper in this exhibition gives both new audiences and long-term followers of his production, a fresh view into his joyful formal inventions with color and light–a trail of leisurely basket lunches under an umbrella, sun-soaked fields of the Central Valley, or the tumbling geometry of buildings on San Francisco’s rolling hills.
Roland Petersen is a Bay Area painter whose paintings are masterful syntheses of gestural abstract expressionism, painterly realism, and advanced color theory. His work integrates still life, figures, and landscape into complex, architectonic compositions that are beautiful and enigmatic, but still retain a strong sense of place, in this case the fields and farms of California’s Central Valley.
In the 1960s, Petersen embarked on his highly acclaimed Picnic series. With their saturated colors, thick layered pigment, and geometric compositions, these works bring to mind the gestural brushwork of Bay Area artists David Park, Elmer Bischoff, and Richard Diebenkorn.
An active figure in the Bay Area art scene for over forty years, Petersen has taught generations of artists not only painting but also printmaking and photography. He lives in the Bay Area and continues to paint actively. Petersen's work has been exhibited in museums and galleries around the country, and is represented in major museum collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York City; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; and Philadelphia Museum of Art.
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