Peter Plagens’ ability to manipulate his artwork is fully exemplified by his collection titled, “The Age of Innocence.” His gallery of abstract art paintings are on full display at the Farmer Family Gallery at the Lima campus of Ohio State.
The gallery consists of 10 colorful and geometric pieces that simultaneously create the illusion of chaos around the edges and order within.
“The Age of Innocence” received reviews from The New York Times, Art Forum, Art in America and many other publications while on display at the Nancy Hoffman Gallery in New York City before closing in March.
As an art critic for the Wall Street Journal and an artist himself, Plagens is very aware of how both careers affect his outlook on what being abstract means. After graduating from Syracuse University with a Master’s degree in fine arts, he became cognizant of others’ views on abstract art.
“They didn’t like abstract painting, and you sort of felt like you were the avant-garde against the conservatives [if you did like it],” Plagens said.
Plagens said that abstract art is up to one’s own interpretation.
When talking about his own art, Plagens said he’s found more success in his painting career than his journalism career.
He claims a lot of people don’t want to separate the two, but he does.
“I did what I did in the past, and it was my choice — I like to write,” Plagens said.
When asked who his imagined audience would be, Plagens said he never planned to paint for a specific audience.
“It has to be somebody, an ideal or theoretical person, but someone who knows the same stuff I know,” Plagens said. “It has to be someone like me, but not me, if I like it, they’ll like it, because they are like me.”
Ed Valentine, art professor at Ohio State’s Lima campus, said he could relate to Plagens work because he is a fan of abstract art as well.
Valentine also said according to Roberta Smith, co-chief art critic for The New York Times, Plagens is currently creating some of his best work.
Plagen’s exhibition runs through Oct. 11 at the Lima campus. The gallery is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m and admission is free to the public.