Michael Peterson is a Texas-born sculptor who currently resides on Washington's Lopez Island. Evolution | Revolution shows work from 20 years of his artistic development. It traces the evolution from the artist's early lathe-turned bowls to his most recent revolutionary sculptures.
Michael Peterson, Coastal Stack VI (2008), Madrone burl, carved, sandblasted, bleached, pigmented [Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue WA, Apr 9-Sep 20]
Peterson's innovative forms extend the possibilities of unusual formations that occur naturally in wood. Utilizing the burl from madrone, maple, elm and locust, he carves and hollows out green wood with a chainsaw. The wet wood shrinks and warps while it's drying to reveal heightened grain patterns. The intrinsic qualities of the wood take on their own shapes.
In his most recent work, Peterson has stacked multiple smoothed and sandblasted pieces that are either bleached or stained with subtle pigments generating additional surface texture. The reductive method that he employs yields a simple purity that honours materials. The tall layered arrangements recall piles of driftwood, mountainous topography and the presence of towering trees a geographic locale typical of the Pacific Northwest.
Michael Peterson's work is in numerous museum collections throughout the United States, including the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC, the Museum of Arts and Design in New York and the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco.