Ben Peterson’s “Nebraska”
On this site, we don’t tend to feature exhibitions once they’ve already closed, but this one retains one of the most incredible visual archives we’ve seen to date, a record of objects that were as beautifully displayed as they were constructed. Ben Peterson’s “Nebraska,” which was on view at San Francisco’s Ratio 3 gallery from January 17 to February 28, featured a series of architectural ceramic sculptures by the Oakland-based artist, painted in different, natural hues to erase traces of their clay past and to resemble something more like weathered and patinated concrete. Almost Brutalist in form, the sculptures were installed on site-specific pastel plinths, an extreme juxtaposition that somehow seemed just right. The sculptures themselves were a departure for Peterson, whose previous work was two-dimensional in nature. The exhibition takes its name “from the midwestern state that saw the construction of some of the earliest cast concrete structures… [But] while drawing influence from the origins of modernist architecture and the design of functional objects, Peterson’s sculptures are ultimately constructed according to intuition. Not modeled strictly after existing buildings or objects, the works comprising Nebraska oscillate between identities as architectural models, functional objects, and primitive totems.” Check out some of our favorites below, then go here for a look at even more of the works on view.