“Galleri Urbane in Dallas has stretched into a recently vacated space and added a back stock room. This shifting and adding space is a perfect segue to the open implied space created in Gail Peter Borden’s paintings. Much like the tiny labyrinth space of Galleri Urbane, you feel as if you could peek around the corners of each architecturally inspired art work. You don’t have to know that this is Director of the Master of Architecture Program at University of Southern California to see Peter Borden is obsessed with building and design.
His underlining geometry is a kind of stripped down point perspective work with wonderful color choices. I would even say he has a kind of Ellsworth Kelly understanding of color combinations, only Peter Borden adds dimensionality to his work. You could imagine each work being a sketch for a 14th century composition. Peter Borden allows the elegance of simplicity to capture and hold your attention. I can’t tell you how many times I went back to different works just for the experience of getting lost in them. Though the lines and shape harken back to the distant past, they also reminded me of the recent past video game era, with simple walls that allowed you to navigate another world. Very bright minimal VGA colors populated the maze games with which I happily wasted hours of playtime.
The walls of drawings were tiny renderings of monumental structures. Almost like each structure was in the far distance. And every piece of paper is held up with those rare earth magnets which complement rather than distract from the work. I can’t tell you how much fun I had flipping through his book and discovering little gems of paintings and drawings. The entry way has five shelves of jars with painted architectural ideas. I dismissed them at first, but after see the rest of the show filled with glossy paintings, I came back for a second look. The glass shimmered in the light and what I thought was a silly installation piece; help me to appreciate the rest of work even more. The bottles remind us that these works are also products. The paintings and drawings could be the beginning of products in the real world or they could be enjoyed in and of themselves.
The show was so clean and quiet that it was a little jolting to walk toward the back and see the variety of other artists’ work. I resisted petting the sheep and the blue and white fish installation, although the surfaces were calling to me. Gail Peter Borden’s show titled “Surface Structures,” will be up through February 16th.”
By Todd Camplin