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Erik L. PetersonThe Oasis

A long yellow rectangle hangs on a fence in front of a brick building while a smaller blue rectangle covers part of the building's ivy-covered wall.
Installation view, Erik Peterson: The Oasis, The Arts Club of Chicago, 2015.
A long yellow rectangle hangs on a fence in front of a brick building while a smaller blue rectangle covers part of the building's ivy-covered wall.
Installation view, Erik Peterson: The Oasis, The Arts Club of Chicago, 2015.

Past exhibition

Erik L. PetersonThe Oasis

About the Exhibition

The Arts Club of Chicago is pleased to announce The Oasis, the next in its series of Garden Projects–outdoor installations in our garden on the corner of Ontario and St. Clair by Chicago-based artists.

Drawing on the vocabularies of traditional arts media along with architecture and transportation infrastructure, Erik L. Peterson creates a site-specific installation for The Arts Club Garden in winter. The Oasis, a pair of large reflective paintings on aluminum (or a pair of small wordless highway signs), one bright blue and the other yellow, meditates on the possibilities of the semi-public space of the courtyard while poking fun at the harsh conditions of viewing art outdoors in winter. The perception of a large-scale blue mirage glistening serenely from within the garden—visible from the street, but physically displaced from the viewer—sensually transports the cold pedestrian to a paradise of his or her choice. The yellow painting, which stretches along the courtyard’s wrought iron fence, on the other hand, is reminiscent of walking along an endless sunny beach. The work, revealing itself over time, is based on the typology of highway signage and clad in highly visible reflective safety sheeting, which reflects light directly to the viewer’s eyes regardless of their position.

About the Artist

Erik L. Peterson is a public artist, sculptor, and curator living in Chicago. He is best known for his large-scale urban interventions (Face Value and Inner State) and signature edible ice cream sculptures (CreamCycle and Soft Palate). Public performances employing sculptural elements like Two Tow’n and Square Dance, are camouflaged urban spectacles, while the annual Southwest Wisconsin Make Your Own Softball League game gathers artists who build their own bats and balls in order to play. Additionally, Peterson is a founder of Hyde Park Kunstverein, a community museum and solo project space in Chicago.