Peter Lenzo: New Works, 2013-2015
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With an exhibition that includes some 20 new ceramic sculptures made in 2015, Peter Lenzo has turned a corner. Affected by health issues, his output had been modest and infrequent in recent years, but a dramatic improvement of his condition in 2014 has resulted in so much work that a new solo show is warranted. The exhibition, Peter Lenzo: New Works 2013 – 2015, will run at Columbia’s if ART Gallery August 21 – September 12, with an opening reception on Friday, August 21, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. Lenzo will present a gallery talk on Saturday, August 29, 2:00 p.m. A preview of the exhibition will take place during Vista Nights/Third Thursday, August 20, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
“Peter’s many fans here and elsewhere in the country will be shocked and surprised to see this much new work by him,” if ART owner Wim Roefs said. “Typically, people visiting the gallery ask in worried tones about Peter’s health, often expecting bad news. But his improved health really has given him a second wind, as he calls it, and his recent output has been tremendous. The work also has changed some, which can be seen by comparing recent work with 2013 sculptures that also are in the exhibition.”
The changes in Lenzo’s work are discussed in Roefs’ essay “Peter Lenzo’s Second Wind,” which will appear in the catalogue accompanying the exhibition. The essay is provided with this release.
Columbia, S.C., resident Peter Lenzo (b. 1955) is a widely recognized ceramic sculptor with a national profile. The New York City native, who grew up in Detroit, was selected for the 1995 and 1998 South Carolina Triennial exhibitions at the South Carolina State Museum in Columbia; the 2011 exhibition Triennial Revisited and the 701 CCA South Carolina Biennial 2011 and 2013, all at 701 Center for Contemporary Art in Columbia; and Thresholds, a 2003 exhibition of Southeastern art dealing with religion and spirituality that traveled extensively throughout the Southeast.
The June, 2015, exhibition Peter Lenzo & Joe Scotchie-Lenzo: Origins 2000–2002 at if ART Gallery presented the origins of Lenzo’s current work through two dozen sculptures he produced with his son, who was around five years old at the time. That exhibition, too, was accompanied by a catalogue.
Lenzo’s work is in several museum collections, including at the South Carolina State Museum, the Mint Museum in Charlotte, N.C., and the Renwick Gallery at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. His solo exhibitions include those at the Spartanburg (S.C.) Museum of Art; the European Ceramic Work Center in Den Bosch, The Netherlands; Great American Gallery in Atlanta; and Ferrin Contemporary gallery in Massachusetts.
Lenzo and his work have been featured in numerous books, exhibition catalogues and articles about ceramic sculpture and Southern art. They include the Threshold catalogue, 500 Figures In Clay (2005), Robert Hunter’s Ceramics in America (2006) and Poetic Expressions of Mortality: Figurative Ceramics From the Porter–Price Collection (2006). He holds an MFA from Wayne State University in Detroit and used to teach at the University of South Carolina, Columbia.
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