Kathryn Markel Fine Arts is pleased to announce its fourth solo exhibition of Peter Hoffer’s paintings at the Chelsea gallery.
Peter Hoffer’s newest body of work refers to both the academic tradition of gardening and to the practice of documenting that tradition. Horticultural history—from the hanging gardens of Babylon to the pristinely manicured topiaries of palatial Versailles—has served as an influence in a great many artistic oeuvres, but never so gracefully and lyrically as in Hoffer’s panels, which breathe with the life contained within. Hoffer’s gardens however, are unspecified and imaginary, places to which the viewer will never travel.
In contrast to his earlier work, these paintings are tightly rendered, reflecting the precision and control exercised in the creation of Victorian era French and English gardens from which his inspiration is drawn. Hoffer breaks with these tenants by indiscriminately gouging his panels with tools, allowing paint to drip and flow freely, and then by covering the whole picture surface with clear resin to preserve these flaws. He then uses the resin as a distancing device, which frames the work in a way that emphasizes its artificiality; as if to say that the work is a picture, a document of nature and the gardens and the way they were in that moment, and the way they will never again be. Hoffer offers a deeply romanticized view of these ephemeral creations
Peter Hoffer lives and works in Montreal, Canada, and Paris, France. He exhibits extensively throughout Canada, the eastern United States, and internationally. His work is in numerous private collections including the Musée des Beaux Arts in Montréal, the Musée Du Québec in Québec City, the Royal Bank of Canada, and the corporate collection of ING New York.