January 2008, TRACES at The SVA Gallery

 Work by Tiana Peterson in the exhibition Traces at the School of Visual Arts gallery, New York

TRACES at The SVA Gallery January 2nd – 12th, 2008
209 East 23rd Street, NY, NY.

SVA alumni Tiana Peterson’s sculptural works that were on display in Chelsea this month are part of her ongoing project that engages with the history of American architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
Wright Books in Cherokee Red 2007is an assortment of books stacked on a pedestal. Wright’s name appears on each spine, and every book Peterson has selected is hardbound in red cloth. This work exemplifies the difficulty of the terrain that Peterson chooses to traverse. The seriality of the books’ subject matter and color, supplies enough information to suggest that the work’s meaning resides in these decisions. In fact, Wright Books in Cherokee Red is composed in such a way that no book rests on more than one of it’s ends. This means of support is a cantilever systems like the one used by Frank Lloyd Wright for one of his most well known homes Fallingwater (Pa. 1935).
Peterson’s Study for Guggenheim Ribbon Sculpturedimensions variable2007 has a force that directed me immediately to its visual referent. This simple object conjures the image of the Guggenheim museum that Wright designed and was opened to the public in 1959. This piece demonstrates the depth and sophistication that occurs in many of Peterson’s works. Peterson’s Study for Guggenheim Ribbon Sculpture 2007 is a sensation like listening to good music, I never consider how it does what it does to me, it is an affect that enters before the possibility of awareness arrives.

Work by Tiana Peterson in the exhibition Traces at the School of Visual Arts gallery, New York

The only other artist who has used Wright’s legacy in this way is Alfred Hitchcock in his cross-country thriller North by Northwest. The film’s climax begins in a house that Hitchcock built to resemble Wright’s Fallingwater. Hitchcock dispensed with the cantilevers so Cary Grant could scale the side of the house. As in Peterson’s work, the choice to re-make a Wright house was based on the architect’s designs and their place in the popular imagination of the American viewer.


Mitchell Goodman

Mitchell Goodman  was born in Toronto, Ontario in 1968. He has been a artist and writer for the past 20 years, presently he is in PHDS at the New School for Social Research in New York where he has lived for the past 5 years.

view all articles from this author