Jamaal Peterman USA, b. 1990
"I’m thinking about class, wealth, proximity of Black wealth in certain environments, and using lines, shapes, colorant icons and symbols to break down various codes and ways you move throughout the community."
Jamaal Peterman is an American painter whose work engages the formal strategies of abstraction to address the representation of bodies—particularly Black bodies—within urban landscapes.
Peterman uses varies textures and pared down forms to evoke a world in which Black bodies are reduced and flattened amid monolithic systems and structures. Bright, luminous colors lend the work a childlike simplicity and joy, while the imagery itself is highly unsettling, suggesting an entire visual culture based on an elaborate game.
Though fundamentally abstract and symbolic, Peterman’s visual language represents a decoding of actual realities in the contemporary culture. Viewers perceive the people in Peterman’s compositions as absent of humanity, reduced to flattened fields of color; meanwhile, impenetrable structures surround these flattened bodies amid landscapes dominated by networks of interconnected, impenetrable, empty facades.
Peterman earned a BFA from University of Maryland Eastern Shore, and an MFA from Pratt Institute. Recent exhibitions include Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, Grand Rapids, Michigan. His work has been featured twice in New American Painting. Recent residencies include MASS MoCA Residency; Wassaic Project Residency, and Fountainhead Residency.
Abstraction & Social CritiqueKavi Gupta | 835 W. Washington Blvd. Floor 1, Chicago, IL, 60607 23 Oct - 23 Dec 2021Kavi Gupta proudly presents Abstraction and Social Critique, an intergenerational group show of artists whose aesthetic positions declare the continued relevance and influence of abstraction. The artist James Little, whose masterful geometric paintings are included in the exhibition, offers this personal elucidation of why he chose to pursue abstraction in...