Never calm, always blatanti
Multi-coloured and energetic, works by Peter Gouge demonstrate a flair for bold colours and striking shapes. Strobe-like patterns made up of lightening bolts, meanders and kilim-like forms march across vivid coloured backdrops. Burnt oranges, bright purples, acid greens, silver and royal blue are make up an almost eye-watering palette. Abstractions flicker and flash with grid- like geometric forms, extended zig-zags, jagged shapes and blocks of colour. Brazen hues contrast with metallic-like and irregular shading in pale greys and white.
Ambiguously titled with acronyms that stand in for lines of poetry, initials or forgotten phrases, Gouge’s works contrast rich, high key, saturated tones with air-brush like gradients. Layered stripes and cunningly placed lines enjoy a kind of wonkiness due to the fact that the artist eschews the use of tape. Embracing irregularity, uneven or supports such as plywood, jute even carpet is painted with acrylics, oils, oil-sticks, enamel and encaustic.
Cipher-like, systems of composition appear formulaic yet also expressive. Measured grids create friction with the erratic angles and eccentric textures they appear within and upon. Full of verve, there is also a strangely decorative aspect to these works, they point towards the warp and weft of weaving, modernist textiles, even pixel-like, computer-generated images. Strata are boldly placed, located and layered to create elaborate constructions, dynamic intensities and vital forces.
Peter Gouge (b. 1984) currently resides in Gainesville, Florida and has exhibited his work both locally and nationally in public institutions, commercial galleries and artist-run initiatives. He has a Bachelor of Design from Unitec, Auckland (2008) and is soon to receive a Master of Fine Arts from Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland. Recent solo exhibitions include: A Trip to___ (Gallery Protocol, Gainesville, 2015) and 17 Paintings (The Young, Wellington, 2015). Work by Gouge was included in Wellington-based gallerist Hamish McKay’s presentation at Spring 1883 Melbourne, 2014. His work has been included in group exhibitions at Enjoy Public Art Gallery (Wellington, 2013), Ferrari Gallery (Auckland, 2013) and as a two person exhibition with Zoe Rapley at the City Gallery (Wellington, 2012). Gouge’s work is increasingly being collected both nationally and internationally and in 2014 he was featured in Art Collector magazine (Australia) as an exciting emerging artist to watch.
i Arnold Schoenberg quoted by Peter Gouge in Frances Morton “12. Peter Gouge” in Art Collector, 2014.