Peter LaBier’s paintings take into account the freedoms and limits of confinement

Conceived at the height of the pandemic, STO LAT Gallery’s inaugural physical exhibition plays with symbols of control, isolation, escalation and hope

In Peter LaBier’s paintings you will find a galloping horse by a set of handcuffs. Or a mottled butterfly, hovering next to an unlit smartphone. There are policemen surrounded by crescendo musical notes, hovering birds lost in expanses of clouds. Hands reaching out to reach for something undefined or just out of frame.

A shot can be made, LaBier’s latest show, materialized during the lockdown. It expresses the contradictions – the simultaneous freedoms and limitations – of that time. “The paintings on display accumulate images of control, isolation, escalation and hope,” reads a press release from STO LAT Gallery. “These legacy symbols juxtapose and crash into each other, competing for real estate and attention.”

Left: Black as thunder2021. Right: Eternal cozy2021. All images courtesy of the artist and STO LAT gallery.

As the inaugural physical exhibition of STO LAT, A shot can be made sets the tone for the gallery, founded in 2021 by Peter Curtis and Catherine Ewa Litke. It’s only fitting that the duo chose an emerging artist in tandem with their own business – part of the gallery’s mission is to showcase great work that might otherwise go unnoticed. LaBier’s paintings feel at home in the Greenpoint Gallery. The grayscale palette contrasts with the playful nature of the figures on canvas, and the space itself seems both simple and full of character.

The show is instantly relatable, both because of its abstract and free-associative nature, and its roots in the pandemic – an experience we all share. The gallery states: “Although LaBier’s work endorses chance, symbolism and subversion, his gaze is also skeptical and democratic. Slyly, his work challenges heroic truth-tellings, both narrative and psychological, by bringing their underlying visual language into debate.

by Peter LaBier A shot can be made is on view at STO LAT until May 14.

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