In PETER HONIG’s Still the artist reflects on three decades spent on the West Coast in pursuit of an American Eden. His literally unfocused photographic explorations of Californian iconography (palms, orange trees, rolling green hills, the ocean, the mountains, traces of rural living) are presented in dialogue with two poems on the wall.
The first poem, marking the beginning of the sequence of photos, inquires “Where have we been?” and reflects on the artist’s odyssey. The second poem, situated at the conclusion, suggests that the Arts’ quest is nothing less than a heroic (but ultimately doomed) attempt to conquer the linearity and passage of time.
Honig’s poetry and photographs don’t provide many practical answers, and they document little more than the passage of electricity across synapses and sensors. But his eschewal of fine detail in favor of chromatic abstraction and the pursuit of compositional harmonies is not rootless, paying homage to Soft Edged Abstraction, Pictorialist photographers of the early 20th Century, and the focus on the domestic realm in the work of Wallace Berman. The poetry serves as both a contextualizing device and a foil for the sequence of sixteen photographs, each of which measures 24 x 36 inches and is embedded within a deep layer of glossy resin. Together these ghostly traces of the artist’s somnolent garden meanderings offer a blurry vision of a Paradise, lost and found…and perhaps lost again.
PETER HONIG has exhibited nationally and internationally since 1993. Originally from the Boston Area, he attended Hampshire College, and then moved to Berkeley where he taught photography and operated a photographic studio. For the past 9 years he has been living in Santa Barbara’s Rattlesnake Canyon, in the company of his wife, 2 cats and
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