Image Modern Translation
Transitions in the work of Peter Russom

   The exhibition, “Modern Translation”, surveys the past fifteen years of the art of Peter Russom. Peter has been teaching drawing and painting at Plattsburgh State University since 1994. Last year he and his family traveled to Italy for the first time. Over thirty works created from his research traveling during a sabbatical leave are shown with a select group of earlier works.
    Italy proved to be a dynamic and challenging environment for Russom to create. Focusing on the architecture in Assisi, Perugia and Rome, the paintings respond to the unique light and color specific to these regions. His new drawings and watercolors engage the powerful scale and rhythm of sites like the Coliseum and the landscape of Umbria.
    Peter sees this exhibition as being both an opportunity to display the developments in the art he has created as well an educational tool for the students at the college.
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   My love of teaching and painting has linked my life with Plattsburgh State University for twenty years. I received my undergraduate degree from the studio art program at Plattsburgh State in 1985. Prepared by those intensive four years of study, I entered graduate school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After obtaining the M.F.A. degree, I lived and taught in New York City for five years.
    In 1994, nearly ten years following my graduation from Plattsburgh State, I accepted an opportunity to return here to teach drawing and painting. This wonderful and unique place has had a profound impact on every facet of my personal and professional life. I was raised in a small railroad town, where
life centered around family and work. The two contrasting worlds of industry and agriculture dominated the landscape. My visual vocabulary was shaped by these surroundings and has remained a very significant concern in my art today.
    I work directly from the landscape in my drawings and watercolors; these pieces also function as research material for larger, more complex acrylic paintings. My most recent works are a synthesis of images, forms, and geometric systems suspended in fields of color. The structure and relationship between the various formal elements act on the viewer's eye and initiate my communication with the viewer.
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