Currents 32: Gord Peteran: Furniture Meets Its Maker

October 5, 2006–January 14, 2007
Decorative Arts Gallery

Exhibition extended until January 14!

One of the most innovative artists working in North America today happens to be a woodworker. 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 is cobbled together, seemingly at random, from scraps lying on his workshop floor. At other times, he employs craftsmanship of the highest order, as in 100, a precisely machined occasional table that disassembles into a carrying case like that used for a rifle. Other works suggest specimen cabinets, seesaws, and game tables, all twisted into new relevance through subtle manipulation. In all cases, Peteran's work addresses the specific conditions of furniture even as it subverts those conditions.

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 Milwaukee Art Museum by Sarah Fayen, assistant curator at the Chipstone Foundation and adjunct assistant curator at the Milwaukee Art Museum.
  • Gord Peteran, Fault Line, 2003 (detail). Framed WilsonArt (graphic laminate) 48 x 144 in. (121.9 x 365.8 cm) Lent by Diane and Marc Grainer. Photo by Elaine Brodie.
  • Gord Peteran, Up, 2005. 2 x 4 diam. in. (5.1 x 10.2 diam. cm). Lent by Tim and Sheryl Kochman
  • Gord Peteran, A Table Made of Wood, 1999. Various woods, 31 x 37 x 14 in. (78.7 x 94 x 35.6 cm). Photo by Elaine Brodie.