April 12-May 17, 2023
Alexander Berggruen is pleased to present Madeline Peckenpaugh: Farsight. This exhibition will open Wednesday, April 12, 2023 with a 5-7 pm reception at the gallery (1018 Madison Avenue, Floor 3, New York, NY).
Maybe it’s her Midwest upbringing, the distinct flora and fauna that grow in the marshes and prairies of Wisconsin. Maybe it’s moving from that environment into urban landscapes in her adult life. Maybe it’s being raised by two painters, who to this day remain the artists she holds in highest regard. Or maybe it’s her aptitude for observation of things that others don’t see, with her ability to pick up on compositions that naturally occur within the backdrop of daily life.
In Farsight, Madeline Peckenpaugh’s visual language—a likely culmination of all influences previously mentioned—offers a new way through the unending questions surrounding the act of painting.
With Peckenpaugh’s work, what you see is most often not what you get. Hers is a process-oriented practice full of coincidences. Something might be added to the surface only to be stripped away from it, yet still considered vital in its contribution to the end result. The life cycle of a painting in Peckenpaugh’s studio welcomes in chance moments that merge texture, color, and the resulting illusion. The life cycle of this particular body of work began in the summertime and concludes in the spring. Each painting experienced its own transformation – whether in the physical world or in Peckenpaugh’s internal space – marked by the changing of seasons. At this present moment of nature’s rebirth, the works are seen for the first time like an offering to begin anew.
There is a human tendency to want to assign familiarity to that which is new for us. In the case of Peckenpaugh’s work, which emulates novelty into the current visual landscape, there might be a rush to categorize her work as leaning into a certain school of painting. If you’ve arrived at any such conclusion, think again. Like windows looking into unknown realms, Peckenpaugh’s paintings question time, place, and a human’s vantage point within it all – ideas that when transcribed through her paint, preclude classification. A sense of wonder, generated from viewing the world from not so straightforward perspectives, becomes imbued within the fibers of each painting.
Peckenpaugh is constantly in question of her surroundings, bending the pre-disposed ideas of the places she has come to know over the years. She bravely embraces moments, in her life and in her studio, that shift or replace that which has become recognizable, and therefore comfortable, into new, sometimes daunting, terrain.
This active way of viewing translates directly onto her canvas. Peckenpaugh’s bank of reference images, a sacred vault she has been building upon for years, is not full of objectively beautiful scenes that elude obvious inspiration. She finds splendor in chance compositions she sees on the New York City sidewalks, in a litter-strewn alleyway, or in the frank contrast of nature and machine that permeates our modern world.
Through Farsight, Peckenpaugh reflects the innate balance of the universe within her painterly sphere. In the artist’s words, the painting, “gets exactly what it needs. Nothing more and nothing less”. Peckenpaugh’s keen awareness of this belief system shines through as we are greeted with work that shows the artist’s presence at every step of the way.
Press Release by Maria Vogel
Maria Vogel’s experience in the art world covers almost every corner, from blue-chip and emerging galleries to institutions and start-ups. She is the founder of Rococo, an advisory that looks beyond transactions to emphasize storytelling and interconnectedness. Vogel regularly contributes to many of the art world’s top publications, including Cultured Magazine and Artnet. With all of her work, Vogel is a conduit to further the stories of artists.
Madeline Peckenpaugh: Farsight will run at Alexander Berggruen (1018 Madison Avenue, Floor 3) from April 12-May 17, 2023. The exhibition’s preview is available upon request. For all inquiries, please contact the gallery at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the occasion of Madeline Peckenpaugh: Farsight, Alexander Berggruen published a book of Madeline Peckenpaugh’s photography with a foreword by Kirsten Cave.
Madeline Peckenpaugh in the studio, Brooklyn, NY, 2023.
Photo: Philipp Hoffmann
This exhibition marks the gallery’s first solo show with the artist, following her inclusion in the gallery’s group shows The Natural World: Part II (March 9-April 13, 2022) and Sholto Blissett, Emma Fineman, Madeline Peckenpaugh (December 10, 2021-January 22, 2022). Alexander Berggruen represents the artist.
Madeline Peckenpaugh (b. 1991, Milwaukee, Wisconsin) received an MFA in Painting from Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI and a BFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA. Peckenpaugh’s work has been exhibited at Alexander Berggruen, New York, NY; Kutlesa Gallery, Goldau, Switzerland; Unit London, UK; 1969 Gallery, New York, NY; the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Providence, RI; Abigail Ogilvy Gallery, Boston, MA; and Avery Galleries, Bryn Mawr, PA, among others. Her work is included in the public collections of the Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA; Ghent House, Columbia County, NY; Brown University, Providence, RI; and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA. Peckenpaugh lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
In an interview with Emily Watlington, Madeline Peckenpaugh stated: “Lately I’ve been starting with the background, then working my way to the surface of my paintings. I like making the background look like it was the last thing that happened, even though it was first. I’m often building up thick paint, then wiping it away, and the wipes leave marks. But I change the process up from painting to painting—I always want to stay surprised and spontaneous.”
Madeline Peckenpaugh: Detours is a book of select photographs taken by Madeline Peckenpaugh between 2014-2022. This book was published on the occasion of the gallery’s exhibition, Madeline Peckenpaugh: Farsight (April 12-May 17, 2023) and features an essay by Gallery Associate Kirsten Cave.