New York

Michael Peglau

Arthur Roger Gallery

In his new paintings, Michael Peglau does something fascinating with the figure in landscape, a subject too often employed in the service of banal expression, by critiquing a number of impulses symbolic, narrative, and voyeuristic—that this subject has traditionally served. Peglau animates his archetypal Western sites with sensuous paint handling, rich color, and radiant light effects. Instead of simply providing contemplative images of nature’s beauties, however, he takes a more provocative tack, using the land-scape as a setting for situations fraught with tensions and potential dangers. This was especially the case with the paintings depicting people armed with guns.

A curious air of detachment pervades paintings such as Pistol Loader, 1989–90. Here the relationship of figure and landscape is key to triggering the emotive effects of the gripping circumstances presented. Executed in a

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