Nick Potter & Peter Janzen

1821 Gallery is pleased to present, Spaces of Desire, Architectural Paintings by Nick Potter and Peter Janzen.

Since first meeting at Fresno State in 2007, Potter and Janzen, despite having very different backgrounds and influences, have pursued similar themes in their depictions of modernist architecture.

Nick Potter’s paintings use architecture as a prism to examine symbols of power and propaganda. His idealized, pseudo-utopias are often highly seductive. On the surface, the architectural elements and furniture are symbols of success, however as one contemplates the ideal further, we become aware that something isn’t quite right. The viewer experiences a shift from a utopian to a dystopian narrative, in a similar way to how one realizes that a dream has just started to become troubling. We wonder if these are abandoned worlds, and if the propaganda attainable after all.

Peter Janzen’s paintings investigate the mysterious qualities of light and space in mid-century modern interiors. Exploring the underlying tension that pervaded the time and questioning our nostalgia towards it, Janzen creates a precarious balance of anxiety and contemplation, of absence alongside the optimism of modernist thought.

Janzen combines an exploration of painterly marks and abstraction with issues of narrative settings in painting to create dramatic light constructions of architectural spaces that depict this blending of beauty and unease.