Gord Peteran: Furniture Meets Its Maker

musical box

January 18-March 2, 2008

“People say, ‘what’s that?’ So I say ‘that’s furniture, not sculpture,’ and see what they do next.” —Gord Peteran

Toronto’s Gord Peteran has launched a boundary-crossing career, opening up the category of furniture to an unprecedented range of psychological and conceptual content. Sometimes his means are disarmingly simple: his work A Table Made of Wood  was cobbled together from scraps on his workshop floor. At other times he utilizes craftsmanship of the highest order, as in 100, a precisely machined table that disassembles into a carrying case like that used for a rifle. Other objects capture the playfulness that is obvious in many of his works, like A Little Table, a single joint that is, as Peteran puts it, “just approaching” being a table. In all cases, Peteran’s work addresses the traditional role of furniture while at the same time subverting it.

This exhibition was organized by the Milwaukee Art Museum and the Chipstone Foundation with generous support from The Windgate Charitable Foundation. It includes a national tour and is guest curated by Glenn Adamson, Head of Graduate Studies, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and coordinated at the Museum by Sarah Fayen, assistant curator, Chipstone Foundation.

Image: Musical Box (Glenn Gould Prize), 1996; red oak, brown oak, steel, ebony, brass, aluminum, plastic, leather, rock, and copper, 5 7/8 x 29 1/2 x 19 5/8 inches. Courtesy of Glenn Gould Foundation and Glenn Gould Studio. Photo Elaine Brodie.