Furniture That Crosses Boundaries: Currents 32– Gord Peteran: Furniture Meets Its Maker

Posted on October 1st, 2006

“People say, ‘what’s that?’ So I say ‘that’s furniture, not sculpture,’ and see what they do next.” -Gord Peteran

Milwaukee, WI, October 2006— Function is often thought to drive furniture design, but what if someone creates a table that doesn’t hold objects, or chairs not made for sitting? The Milwaukee Art Museum recently opened an exhibition on one of the most innovative artists working in North America today-and he happens to be a woodworker. Currents 32-Gord Peteran: Furniture Meets Its Maker , through January 7, 2007, is a thought-provoking exhibition of 34 psychologically compelling pieces of furniture.

Toronto’s Gord Peteran has launched a boundary-crossing career, opening up the category of furniture to an unprecedented range of psychological and conceptual content. Sometimes his means are disarmingly simple: his work A Table Made of Wood was cobbled together from scraps on his workshop floor. At other times he utilizes craftsmanship of the highest order, as in 100 , a precisely machined table that disassembles into a carrying case like that used for a rifle. Other objects capture the playfulness that is obvious in many of his works, like A Little Table , a single joint that is, as Peteran puts it, “just approaching” being a table. In all cases, Peteran’s work addresses the traditional role of furniture while at the same time subverting it.

Featured Program:

The Black Art of Furniture Making: An Evening with Gord Peteran and Glenn Adamson

Thursday, October 26, 6:15 p.m.

Join us in Lubar Auditorium for a conversation with one of North America’s most innovative artists and the curator who is bringing this new work into the spotlight. Listen to the engaging conversation between artist Gord Peteran and guest curator Glenn Adamson, head of graduate studies at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and former decorative arts curator at the Milwaukee Art Museum and Chipstone Foundation. Free with general admission. The program is made possible by Collectors of Wood Art, University of Wisconsin-Madison Art Department, and the Chipstone Foundation.

This exhibition is organized by the Milwaukee Art Museum and the Chipstone Foundation with generous support from The Windgate Charitable Foundation. It includes a national tour and is guest curated by Glenn Adamson, Head of Graduate Studies, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and coordinated at the Museum by Sarah Fayen, assistant curator, Chipstone Foundation.

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