Algus Greenspon

Peter Young

September 29 - November 12, 2012

Algus Greenspon presents an exhibition of paintings by Peter Young opening on Saturday September 29 and continuing until November 3, 2012. A reception for the artist will be held on the day of the opening from 6 to 8pm.

Peter Young (b. 1940) is the most fugitive of post-minimalist painters to emerge in New York in the 1960s. His ambitiously freewheeling yet slyly structured paintings, exhibited at the Leo Castelli and Noah Goldowsky Galleries (the latter under the aegis of Dick Bellamy), quickly gained attention. His work was included in shows at the Museum of Modern Art, Whitney, Guggenheim, Albright-Knox and Corcoran Museums, as well as the Walker Art Center. He was the subject of an Artforum cover article in 1971. The artist garnered equal success in Europe, exhibiting with Rolf Ricke in Cologne and at Documenta 5 in Kassel, Germany. Work entered many of the era’s most prominent collections: Robert Scull, Philip Johnson, Horace and Holly Solomon, Joseph Helman, Ben Heller, Peter Ludwig, Arne Glimcher, Roy Neuberger, Bruno Bischofberger, et al. Yet by the time this attention arrived, the artist had left New York to travel around the Mediterranean, then Mexico, Costa Rica, and the American Southwest settling, in 1972, in Bisbee, Arizona where he continues to live and work.

In 2007 Peter Young’s art was the subject of a retrospective organized by David Deutsch and Alanna Heiss at MOMA PS1 that reintroduced his work to New York. This exhibition included paintings made between 1963 and 1977; that is, paintings that had been shown previously in New York. The current exhibition is the first of Peter Young’s more recent work in New York since the early 1980s when his Grid and Linear Weave series was seen at Leo Castelli and Dick Bellamy’s Oil and Steel Gallery.

Collectively titled White Ellipse, this series of large-scale works made between 1995 and 2004 represent Young’s most recently completed series of paintings.

Composed of sweeping networks of penciled arcs partly filled by fragmented white ellipses that hover in unmoored gestural grounds, these paintings maintain the artist’s ongoing interest in the transformative dialogue of process, structure and color. Their delicate interweaving of gesture and pattern introduces a radiant tentativeness that is new. Unexpectedly surreal, the paintings’ interplay between figure and field evokes a primal thread intrinsic to Peter Young’s art, formalist abstraction by way of Lascaux.