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Krista Peters
at Box Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Recommendation by Alex Ross

Through August 7, 2011

“Scar paper” witnesses Krista Peters fracturing her customary anatomical renderings into heavily fragmented compositions united by their complexity of material and process. Joining lithography, collage, India ink, washes of pigment, and gouache, the artist transfers and draws bones and bone-like appendages onto Japanese gompi tissue paper – a medium ideally suited to her works’ emphatic tensions between perceived fragility and veritable integrity.

By loosely pinning unframed drawings to the gallery’s walls, the exhibition’s formatting emphasizes gompi’s seemingly tenuous materiality. As a result, each shift in the spectator’s position registers as a rustling of images to underscore the relationship between the body and its depiction. Accordingly, compositional structure is analogized to bodily structure, compositional weight to physical gravity, each broken line linked to fractured bone, and every surface crease evoking weathered skin.

It bears noting that Peters has been a student of Kiki Smith; and, extending her former teacher’s correlation of physical systems with obscured social exigencies, the artist suggests the body as a repository of cultural experience. In “scar paper,” specifically, the corporeal act of viewing is integrated into the zone of the exhibition’s images, pictorial space is tied to its constructedness, and the politics of self-expression asserts links to the canonization of visual gesture. For her part, Peters summarizes her artistic intention with assured succinctness, “the works become allegories for being and the imprint of living.”

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