Puts and Calls
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Jamaal Peterman has developed a highly encoded language of abstraction that ricochets inside of, between, and beyond the frame of the image. Geometric abstraction illuminates an “absolute reality” in which color and form communicate hierarchies of space and movement as well as class and race. Central to Peterman’s landscape work is the artist’s reflection on how black and brown bodies navigate through urban space. Shades of black and brown encode certain elements in the paintings as representative of black bodies, communities, businesses, and ecosystems.
Lines of connection run between these forms, while their quantity and direction suggest routes of access and exclusion, at once making reference to flows of information, the design of a circuit board, and processes of redlining. In this way, Peterman’s visual symbols are designed to aid in marking the time, history, and spaces that black bodies have continually navigated and constructed. Resembling sidewalks, bricks, or building facades, textured sections of each canvas are embedded with expressionistic marks and symbols that act as possible cheat codes for entering the image. Just like a handprint or name pressed into sidewalk cement, these tactile details represent memory and the disappearance of physical identity.
The sale of this work directly benefits The Last Resort Artist Retreat, founded by Derrick Adams, this is an artists residency that subscribes to the concept of leisure as therapy for the Black creative and is committed to offering the space and curated-experience conducive to their rejuvenation. Set in a park-like private residence, the property is nestled in the heart of Waverly, a historic Baltimore neighborhood. Each residency cycle, they will welcome guests by invitation-only to a four-week stay of self-reflection and fellowship with like-minded individuals in search of a nurturing respite. More info at https://www.tlrar.org/about