As a Cosmic Hostess, Lorraine Peltz serves us up with paintings that journey out into the cosmos, through deep and sometimes troubled waters, and into orange daydreams. Peltz’s new paintings continue to examine the dreamy side of feminine fantasy and fashion culture, expanding that dialogue with the addition of images of food and plants. Drawing from nature during a 2005 Residency at the Roger Brown House in New Buffalo, Michigan, she translates some of those images into the mix of her new paintings. These become landscapes of both the exterior world and an interior space of dream, desire, hope, and memory. By combining various painting languages including recognizable imagery, signs and symbols, and even a bit of painterly abstraction, Peltz attempts to mimic and reconcile how information comes to us, and how meaning is made, bit by bit – real life alongside memory, poetry next to prose. These become landscapes of both the exterior world and an interior space of dream, desire, hope, and memory. Her images of plums, pears, and even cupcakes co-mingle with the likes of 17th century still life painting with pop imagery of lightning bolts, puffy clouds, painted lips, rainbows, strolling legs, swans, ominous blackbirds, and more.
As Lisa Wainwright, Dean of Graduate Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Professor of Art History, wrote in 2006, here are “worlds aqueous and cosmic, airy and verdant. The paintings glow with uncanny resonance and optical sheen. And then Peltz interrupts the dreaminess to cast a range of signs into ethereal spaces. Myriad symbols in their speech bubble niches hint at a narrative that unfolds from picture to picture. Both of nature and from culture, her icons speak to the polemic between essentialism and social construction that still grips feminist discourse…the mix of aesthetic delight and conceptual reading makes…one of Peltz’s strongest shows to date.”
Lorraine Peltz received her MFA from the University of Chicago and her BFA from the State University of New York at New Paltz. Peltz currently teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.