RECEPTION SATURDAY, MAY 1st 12-7 PM
In LoveLand, her fourth solo exhibition at Callan Contemporary, Sibylle Peretti debuts a suite of glass and mixed-media wall panels and freestanding kiln-cast glass sculptures that invite viewers to contemplate nature in its purest state. These visionary works imagine a world in which animals roam through landscapes and dreamscapes that are mostly devoid of human presence. Although traces of civilization remain, animals reign uncontested in this utopian kingdom—at one with their environment, pristine, noble, free. “I wanted to celebrate the wild and untamed by creating refuges in places that are fragile and endangered,” she notes, “where animals transform abandoned human terrains into balanced habitats.”
She renders her enigmatic vignettes in kilnformed and cast glass, gouache, collage, reverse-engraved plexiglass, painting, drawing, and photography, the disparate elements integrated and densely layered in a time- and labor-intensive process, imparting material and thematic richness. With a virtuoso’s skill she incorporates opaline milk-glass, painstakingly slumped and silvered passages, and in one sculpture, the secretive, ancient medium of ruby-red glass. The visual seduction of translucence and chromatic shifts in changing light beckon viewers into ethereal symbolic narratives.
Born in northwest Germany and raised in Bavaria, Peretti trained as a glass designer at the State School for Glass-making in Zwiesel and earned her Masters of Fine Arts degree in painting and sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Cologne. Since moving to New Orleans in 1996 she has lived and worked in the Bywater neighborhood, creating artworks that are included in the permanent collections of the Corning Museum of Glass, Carnegie Museum of Art, Museum of American Glass, Hunter Museum of American Art, Toledo Museum of Art, Huntsville Museum of Art, Montréal Museum of Fine Arts, Shanghai Museum of Glass, Speed Art Museum and the Museum für Kunsthandwerk (Frankfurt, Germany), as well as important corporate and private collections around the world.The recipient of grants from the Pollock-Krasner and Joan Mitchell foundations, she was the subject of a 2018 solo exhibition, Promise and Perception: The Enchanted Landscapes of Sibylle Peretti, at the Chrysler Museum of Art (Norfolk, VA).
In the new exhibition, she explores the nuances of innocence and sanctuary through haunting depictions of coyotes, foxes, fauns, hawks, bobcats, and panthers at rest and in motion. Some are surrounded by pearls and crystals, motifs that signify preciousness and elevated station, while others stand in fields of sunflowers, reminders of the landscape’s temporal journey from seed to bloom to harvest. “My hope,” she concludes, “is that we can reconsider our fractured relationship to nature and our environment. I always hope for the possibility of resilience, renewal, redirection, and unity.”
by Richard Speer