Andre Petterson. Sun Shower 2. Mixed media on panel, 40 x 40”.
Andre Petterson. Quaver. Mixed media on panel, 48 x 36”.
Andre Petterson (b.1950, Netherlands/Canada) - Cascade Forward. Mixed media on panel, 42 x 28 in.
We are pleased to have Jacob van Loon for this Tumblr Monday to share with us one of his favorite contemporary mixed media artists, Andre Petterson.
Stravinsky had a finger in every pot when creating Le Sacre du Printemps. Partnering with contemporaries Vaslav Nijinsky, Sergei Diaghilev, and Nicholas Roerich, he imposed the Avant Garde ideal onto ballet, a concert genre deeply engrained into the Russian Patronage. The fluttering dissonance of Stravinsky’s composition was regarded as unnerving by spectators. The visual barrage of Roerich’s costuming, activated by Nijinsky’s jutting choreography, proved too much for the audience that Paris Spring in 1913. By the second act, the groundbreaking event opened a sinkhole straight “to hell” in the brand new floor of Théâtre des Champs-Élysées.
Effective art confronts. It rearranges what is familiar, and does so thoroughly enough to generate questions without offering concerting answers. Andre Petterson is a Holland-born mixed-media Artist working from Canada. Synthesizing photography, drawing, and sculpture, his work focuses on objects ushered into obsolescence by unrelenting technological innovations of the 20th century. He expounds on this premise with drawings of typewriters, bicycles, sewing machines, books, and horses.
There is a sense of immediacy and apparent violence in his markmaking. In a less direct way, Petterson’s approach also has a comical element— the scale of the images are compromising, ebbing on either side of too large or too small in comparison to their real-life counterparts. The objects often read as flat, floating in the middle of a void. The singularity is iconographic and impacting in the same way a reliquary is, if stolen from a church. As a mixed media Artist, his use of photography as a medium enforces the concept, appearing as a seamless continuation of the narrative.
Outside of the commentary Petterson establishes on impermanence, the spectrum from which he pulls influence resounds visually. The dynamism preserved in each piece is allegorical to the movements of a symphony. His background as a musician, partnered with his upbringing as the child of two trade workers, is the braided strand unifying his retrospective.
Le Sacre du Printemps is regarded as a masterpiece; a hybridization of progressive Art forms which transcended the controversy of the debut moment. Stravinsky and his counterparts confronted their audience with a well-crafted synthesis of sound and object. Where Andre Petterson doesn’t aim to supplant, he confronts. The past is brought to the present and causes us to speak.
Andre Petterson. Push, 2010. Mixed media, 40 x 40”.
Andre Petterson. Shift-Release, 2010. Mixed media on board, 32 x 24”