Peter Wegner

The Society for Contemporary Art at The Art Institute of Chicago proudly presents Peter Wegner Tuesday, November 13, 2001. Peter Wegner began a body of work in 1995 that was inspired by house paint color systems. According to Wegner, “A color is one thing. A name is another.” He states, “The problem of naming colors is the problem of poetry. How to describe one thing in terms of another.” Wegner uses paint chips –the named and numbered samples that one finds in a paint store — as a departure in his work, but this is not simply an explanation of color; it relates much more to the intellectual rigor of the study of systems that preoccupied the conceptual artists of the 1960’s and 70’s. Language is an important element in Wegner’s work and the names of the colors he depicts are thoughtfully chosen. The arrangement of color — carefully collected, sorted by criteria and juxtaposed for distinct visual and conceptual meaning — is also critical of the work: What appears at first to be an obvious example of found poetry reveals itself to be a complex study of nature, language and the systems that order the world. Recently his paintings have assumed greater philosophical ambiguity and formal complexity. Fields of color, no longer constrained by the edges of the panel, run off the grid and into each other. In other works the color fields are cut into long strips then reassembled, but misaligned and out of sequence. Color names and code numbers are white-on-white, visible only from an oblique angle and often indecipherable, as words collide and overlap. Wegner calls this body of work “Remarks on Color” after Wittgenstein’s treatise on language and visual perception. In addition to paintings, Wegner’s project had grown to include room-sized installations, wallworks, schematic and residual drawings, and limited edition artist books. Wegner was born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and received his BA from Yale University. He has had recent solo exhibitions at Griffin Contemporary in Venice, CA and Mary Boone Gallery in NY, and his work is in the public collections of the Guggenheim Museum in NY, LAMOCA, and the SFMOCA.

The Art Institute of Chicago
Members – $35

05:30PM – 06:30PM – Reception
Photography Study Room

06:30PM – 07:30PM – Lecture
Photography Study Room