Robert W. Petrick is a New York City based painter

with interests also based in Digital art, Photography & Letter Form Design

“In 1984, Robert W. Petrick stenciled two designs on walls along Avenue B.
Capturing the zeitgeist of the time, EXIST/EXIT and NOWHERE/NOW HERE
were photographed and featured in Vogue magazine. To them, the images
exemplified graffiti as art rather than graffiti as vandalism, a concept that was
gaining international attention after the release of Charlie Ahearn’s Wild Style
and a number of hit songs and music videos. In the studio, Petrick has
continued to work with this spirit in two important series, which draw a link
between the street culture of the East Village, where he has lived for 31 years,
and the power of language, which he has worked with his entire life. His Word
Paintings examine language in its purest written form. When painted in the streets,
they represent a democratic type of communication. On canvas, they provide a
space for more intimate reflection on the marks that increasingly define our
world and interactions. In his Graffiti Painting series, Petrick manipulates the
semiotics of graffiti writing, stretching and compressing both letters and meaning
into asymmetric shapes. In the aggregation of symbols, piled and stacked on top
of each other within the confines of the canvas, one can read the density of the
city, a multitude of voices in a confined urban environment. They are not the
ordered squiggles of the Keith Haring/LA2 collaborations; in these works, the raw
gestures of written communication are compressed into a chaotic yet elegant
jigsaw, flattened of both time and space. In both series, a concrete interpretation is carried through the transformation but is also altered and rendered ambiguous. These are acts of aggression against order and conformity, reclaiming a landscape made hostile by city planners and the swagger of corporations, advertising firms and domineering architecture, which begs the question: are these simply works art,or do they hint at linguistic warfare?"

UNDERCURRENTS is a freethinking
artspace inspired by the epic myth of the avant-garde. We serve as an incubator
for artists, writers and curators to communicate ideas and create new artifacts f
or the 21st century.” -Katie Peyton


Education: Tyler School of Art, Pennsylvania

Exhibitions & Solo Shows

May 21, 2015,thru July 21, 2015 @IFAC "Compression " Paintings - Curated by Lee Wells

January, 2014, Peanut Underground Show title
"read just the truth - readjust the truth...Language and Painting". Curator Katie Peyton

December, 2013, IFAC "Gestural Geometry" (www.ifac-arts.com). Curaror Lee Wells

June, 2012, Solo show, 307 Gallery (Now called "Carter Burden Gallery"), 
Chelsea , NYC ["signs, marks & gestures". Curator Marlena Vacaro

August, 2008, Tompkins Library solo exhibit NYC. Curated by myself "Word Art"

First showing in NYC In 1984 he had a solo exhibit the Red Bar gallery.

Group shows:

IFAC Gallery NYC March, 2015

Tompkins Square Library (Gallery) February 2015

IFAC Gallery NYC October, 2014

IFAC Gallery NYC May, 2014

Group show Carter- Burden Chelsea, NYC 2013

Walsh Gallery at Seton Hall University 2009

D.U.M.B.O." "SPACE" Sculpture installation. Brooklyn.NY 2007

Art Around the Park Exhibit NYC 2005 to 2013

Nolo Contendere, NYC 1986

Nico Smith Gallery, NYC 1983

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