Peter Sutherland Is in the House
Published September 19, 2011
For over 10 years Peter Sutherland’s studio has been the open road, which is where he’s toted cameras and Ziploc bags full of film rolls. The New York-based artist’s huge body of work—photography and installation—is based on his nomadic travels and flâneur-like absorption of everyday life. His tumblr account, a cult phenomenon for young photographers, captures this movement. But a new show, “Secrets of the Valley” [through Oct. 15] shows what happens when Sutherland gets a studio. Namely, he makes a departure from photography and delves into a stream-of-conscious world of painting and sculpture.
Sutherland’s show is hosted by the Still House Group, a collective of young artists with a studio in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Their space was so big that the group decided to invite an artist to partake in a three-month residency, which ends with a show. Artists Isaac Brest and Alex Perweiler founded the group in 2007 as an online viewing platform. In 2010 they conducted an eight-month residency in the abandoned Department of Transportation office on the tenth floor of a highrise in TriBeCA, which also culminated in a show.
The result this time around? A studio space that looks nothing like a photographer’s: packed with salvaged objects from the street, sparkling colored sand on the floor, broken arcade machines, and pigment stains. Sutherland went back into his archive and isolated lens flares, enlarging the images to create beautiful abstract shapes. There are also large colorful sand paintings, produced by throwing, dropping and blowing material across large canvas. The winds of change, indeed.