Following a short career as an Aeronautical Engineer, Jon Peterson earned an MFA from Otis Art Institute in 1976. Over the next decade, he had multiple exhibitions of painting and sculpture throughout the US. In 1980 he received a national Endowment grant for his body of work titled "Bum Shelter," a series of installations in NYC, Washington DC, Los Angeles and other cities.
His recent work was initiated by a photograph of the painter Ellsworth Kelly standing next to a paint covered wall in his studio. Peterson's "Portrait of Ellsworth Kelly," can be seen as a metaphor for any painter's process. It suggests that the growth of a painting is a complex process, combining the artist's history, the subconscious, and aesthetic preferences.
The Kelly portraits led to the mostly abstract "Map" paintings with their sandwiching of figuration, urban maps, and chromatics, overlaid with gestural pyrotechnics.
Included in the exhibit are several small bronze sculptures, continuing a series of work started by Peterson in the 1980s. Inspired by Simon Rodia's Watts Towers, they explore the idea of a rigorous geometry executed in an expressionistic way.