“Recently, in a radical mid career change, George Peck abandoned centralized composition and rectangular support cloth, transforming his cut-up abstract paintings into ethereal, allusive, and subtly tactile works. In George Peck’s paintings, the brushstroke has become increasingly elusive and now seems more of a remembrance than a presence.
In the ’90s, the appearance of his work has been determined by cut lines rather than painted ones. Peck’s unusual working method has been to paint an abstraction on unstretched muslin and then slice it up with a mat knife, rub he pieces with graphite over stencils of his own design, and rearrange them on unstretched canvas that is shiny with glue.
He often paints a bit on the resulting surfaces, which may suggest maps, Chinese ink landscapes, the heavens, or other images and atmospheres.
Over three decades, Peck’s abstraction has ranged widely sole. once expressionist, now reticent, at another time darkly solid, now fractured and light-filled; occasionally highly-col-ored, now smoky and subtle. In all his recent work, Peck (57) is notably attentive to the qualities of his support materials. He has applied his procedures to a variety of fabrics and papers, obtaining a like variety of effects. The weight and tightness of the fabric he paints on or glues determine texture and transparency in the finished work. The cut-and-applied painting has typically remained a centralized mass on the support cloth, although it may be as open or closed as he chooses to make it during the intuitive process. It may suggest something as dense as a stone or as fragmentary as a land mass riddled with rivers, bays, and ridges. Some works look like models of plate tectonics. A few years ago, when he was keeping the cut-up painting roughly rectangular, the support cloth served as a frame for it; when he began to compose less regular shapes. the unstretched support cloth, hanging softly and sometimes unevenly, began to seem a more important part of a textile “object” or an overall allusive effect.
Peck’s exhibition last May at Trans Hudson in New York’s meatpacking district, his third solo with that gallery, came as a shock to those who know his work. Not only had the support cloth vanished as a rectangular setting for the cut-up paint-ing, but the painting itself was no longer a centralized mass but had dissolved into attenuated arms stretching out across the wall in abandon.
Peck’s paintings fuse forceful action, sensitive touch, compulsive labor and wistful letting go. They achieve their own sort of emotion resolution in their lack of demand for resolution.” (Janet Koplos, Excerpt from Dematerializing the Canvas; Art in America, April 1999)
Painting, Trans Hudson Gallery, New York, NY 1998
Time Piece I (1998)
Acrylic, graphite, and polymer on muslin on canvas; 155.5″ x 121.5″
Time Piece III (1998)
Acrylic, graphite, polymer, on muslin on canvas; 161.5″ x 121.5″
Plastic Painting/Net (1999)
Acrylic, graphite, polymer on muslin on gauze, 117″ x 108.5″
Untitled, Network II (1998)
Acrylic, graphite, polymer, silver, gold on muslin, rice paper and textile; 142.5″ x 182″
Dr.. Dr.. (1999)
Acrylic, graphite, polymer, silk paper, nylon scrim on muslin; 10′ 10″ x 9’6″
Plastic Painting I (1999)
Acrylic, graphite, polymer, muslin, silk paper, nylon scrim on gauze; 13’6″ x 12’3″
Exhibition Shot – George Peck, Painting, Applied Arts Museum, Budapest, Hungary 1998
Time Piece II (1998)
Acrylic, graphite, polymer, silver on muslin on cavas; 141″ x 99.5″
Laminate I (1998)
Acrylic, graphite, polymer, silk paper, rice paper on muslin on gauze; 42″ x 62″
Laminate I (Install View) Mu Terem Gallery; Budapest, Hungary
Paper or Plastic II (1999)
Acrylic, graphite, polymer, silk paper on muslin; 7’8″ x 7’8″
Cell’s Life (2002) Acrylic, Textile, Paper between Plastic Sheeting; 47′ x 25′
Installation at Layered Time, Layered Paint (2002) Kiscelli Museum, Budapest, Hungary