With delicate cuts, Minneapolis artist Sonja Peterson builds networks of negative space into large-scale, intricate cutouts whose mazes of quiet colors and soft shadows add depth and whimsy to the simplest of mediums: paper. “Often my artwork is derived by looking at historical events and science to absorb present day dilemmas,” notes Peterson.
In Entangled Introductions, Peterson draws on images of flora and fauna, referencing environmental and agricultural systems. The work supports a large piece that explores the Swedish kurbits seen throughout Swedish Dala painting. The imagery found throughout this style of decorative painting originally came from the story of Jonah being cast out to the desert outside of Ninevah. He survives because of a kurbits plant that grows enormous to shelter him from the sun and provide food for nourishment. Peterson explores how these stories and the kurbits became the central iconic decoration in all of Dala Painting.
Peterson will serve as ASI Resident Artist during February 2014.
Sonja Peterson brings ASI’s collections to life this spring as Resident Artist. She will create an original piece inspired by the work of her late mother, artist Bobbie Peterson, who dedicated her life to the preservation of Dala painting.
Peterson’s creations have delighted audiences throughout the United States and abroad. In 2013, she was the resident research artist at the Bell Museum of Natural History in Minneapolis, Minn., was awarded the Minnesota State Arts Board fellowship and the Jerome Travel and Research grant, and was a McKnight fellowship finalist.
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