Stars & Stripes

Andrea Schwartz Gallery

Jun. 15, 2024 - Jul. 22, 2016

545 4th Street
San Francisco, 94107
(415) 495-2090

Andrea Schwartz Gallery is pleased to announce our first solo exhibition of recent works by
Peter Combe.

“There is an alchemy that occurs, a trick of the eye, where color seems to occupy space— a void—at once ethereal, yet seen from another angle the whole appears as a recognizable image, veiled in gossamer.” —Peter Combe

Peter Combe employs appropriated, hand-punched paint swatches as his singular medium. In his newest body of work, Combe creates star-studded portraits alongside abstracted, striped pieces. Inserting circular paint swatches into perforated backings, Combe creates three dimensional works that experiment with the interplay of light, color, and movement—all placed into custom frames. His process can be characterized as neo- pointillist: taking a mathematical approach based in color theory.

For the artist, the optical effect is important, but the imagery depicted is also of equal significance to him. As a Canadian who was recently granted permanent residence in the United States, Combe celebrates American culture in this newest body of work, which to him is embodied by the Pantheon of Hollywood’s Golden Age. His haunting portraits feature iconic stars such as Rock Hudson, Grace Kelly, Tyrone Power, and Elizabeth Taylor. In keeping with the artist’s propensity for word-play, several portraits include text in the form of double enetendres. Combe’s abstract, striped works seem to invoke malfunctioning pre-digital age television screens. These works include a combination of jewel-toned, transparent, and opaque paillettes.


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