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Seraphin Gallery, 1108 Pine Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19107

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PETER ZELLE

"My art is an exercise of my physical intuition and my passion for color and form. I think of my sculptures as compositions, a word that resonates for me musically as well as spatially.  I bring together shapes, patterns, textures, and colors in order to orchestrate a dynamic and harmonious whole.  Perhaps the most striking aspect of my pieces is the luminous color radiating through the smooth surfaces, but equally important is the relief on the reverse sides.  In fact, this is the first element that I address in my process, carving the shapes and textures into clay.  It is only after I establish these spatial relationships (and cast a plaster mold from the original clay relief) that I decide the arrangement of colors that will accentuate the form and bring the composition together.

I want viewers to be moved by the scale of the pieces and the richness of the colors.  I want them to be drawn into the interplay of textures and shapes, to feel the thickness of the glass, and to touch the polished edges of each piece. I hope these works create the same sense of awe that I felt as a 16-year-old, entranced by the windows in Chartres Cathedral, and as an 18-year-old, lying on the floor, staring up, amazed, at the Chagall windows in a small chapel in Jerusalem. In both encounters, the colors and forms transfixed me, dazzling my senses and transporting me outside myself.  I want my own work to create a similar sense of excitement—a flash of recognition and the wonder of discovery.  With these monolithic slabs of colored glass, I aim to provide viewers with a space for contemplation and a respite from the cacophony of the modern world."

- Peter Zelle