Peter In The News

About Peter

Peter Allen sculpture and paintings are in the collections of several major museums. My aluminum, bronze, steel and stone sculptures are highly original and exuberant depictions of the local landscape and appear as dreamscapes. Exhibited from Canada to Mexico, a Harding Township resident with works spanning three decades, I have a BA from Brandeis University and an MFA from the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan and completed an apprenticeship in casting bronze sculpture at the Johnson Atelier in Hamilton, NJ. Find out more about future or current exhibits at my Peter Allen’s Facebook page:

Artistic Focus of My Work

My Recent Drawing, 2012

My works consist of multiple figures drawn or painted from models on museum quality paper. I think the viewer of my work is soothed to see that the relations between the figures seem to be derived from my aesthetic choices and are not meant to tell a particular story. As a right handed person drawing or painting with my left hand and erasing with my right, the critical and analytical side that is required to thread together a story wanes in importance. In its place my goal is to show an energetic and emotive mimetic talent. The resultant works are like dreams. The model becomes less generic as if done by a peculiar person who explores the nature of people by drawing them. Relationships come and go as body parts, colors and contours frantically mix and evolve. I have been making wax models with my figure drawings for bronze castings lately. Twenty sculptures soon to be finished from my drawings give me another chance to interpret what is behind the obvious.

My Recent Sculpture, 2012

The goal behind my “Deer Ridge” piece is one of making art full of movement, energy and playful work using observations I make from the landscape of rocks, trees, clouds and flowing water in nature. By developing a means of connecting what starts out as Styrofoam and hot glue then sand cast the molds into aluminum which can be welded with stainless steel connection pieces, I have attempted to free myself from the impediments to good sculpture such as being too traditional and worrying about the frailty of the end result. Somewhere between my studying at the School of Visual Arts in graduate school and the Johnson Atelier art casting apprenticeship my methods for my home cast works have evolved. My method is to cast a crucible of aluminum and imbed into the molten aluminum castings stainless steel rods that can later aide in welding steel to steel. I can draw crucible sized pieces together into structures reminiscent of the landscape that has the same feeling as the quixotic dynamism found in nature.

“Lakes and Clouds” uses the same methods that I employ in the “Deer Ridge” sculpture for sand casting and welding from what was originally Styrofoam boards. The contours and negative spaces recall the shadows of clouds or the venerable shapes in nature like of fields, mountains, trap rocks and pools in a stream. I have been working as an artist in a pastoral setting and see these as my inspiration. There is meant to be a feeling of flowing and of nature changing in my work and that is why I feel so good about pouring the aluminum myself. The journey from liquid to frozen hardness of the molten material is metaphorical to the artist’s predicament of feeling so free when making a work and then finding much of it disappear as the work competes in the market place.

“Cloud Pools” references the circles on a stream or pond as it rains and the shadows made by the clouds or a tree on the ground or water below. The piece is made of welded found objects from a NJ metal depot for leftover steel from local factories. I feel the beauty of the piece is to be found in the cross over from factory remnant to a metaphor for the natural landscape. The separation of urban and bucolic is seen as necessary as manufacturers spoil the wilderness as exemplified by acid rain falling over the Berkshires. By recycling and not recreating material that already exists this stops a bit of acid rain. We need our art and we need our industrial goods, but we also need pristine spaces. So I enjoy the metaphor of joining all in a sparing manner.

I want my work to show feelings. Because my material engenders a sad nostalgia for our old industrial America and the subject and method of working show a reverence for the quickly disappearing pristine landscape in the Northeast, I hope to see my work transcend any connection to being viewed as yet another unfelt sculpture.

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