Peter Gerakaris: Like a Rolling Stone

Group Exhibition: Peter Gerakaris (B.F.A. '03), Alexander Esters, Justen Ladda

Ana Cristea Gallery is delighted to present Like a Rolling Stone featuring the work of Peter Gerakaris (B.F.A. '03), Alexander Esters, and Justen Ladda. In 1965, Bob Dylan wrote the lyrics for this breakthrough song. The meaning of these lyrics was not entirely clear even to Dylan himself, yet people everywhere connected to the song in some ineffable way. In a similar vein, the three artists in this show seem to pull from familiar pop and cultural sources — yet those sources are somehow elusive. In the end, their work is fresh, accomplished, and engaging.

All three artists offer something new: Gerakaris is still in his 20s and just out of an M.F.A. program, Esters has never before been shown in the United States, and Ladda — born in Germany but in the U.S. for more than 30 years — though a celebrated mid-career artist, has not shown widely since the early 1990s.

Peter Gerakaris (B.F.A. ′03) who received his master of fine arts from Hunter College in 2009, lives and works in New York City. His vibrant, colorful canvases reflect a fascination with the botanical and zoological, and suggest the influence of Op, Pop, jazz, and Chinese and Japanese art. His work has been shown at the Bronx Museum of Art, Wave Hill (NYC), and The National Academy of Fine Arts.

Alexander Esters employs painting, sculpture, linocut, and stained glass to create "paintings" which draw upon 20th century greats like Picasso and Dali in addition to a host of pop references. Esters was included in a 2009–10 exhibition (with John Currin and Tomma Abts) titled "Slow Paintings" at the Museum Morsbroich in Germany as well as at the Köln Skulpturenpark's 2009–11 "Köln Skulptur 5: Reality Check." In 2007, he was included in "XXL- Recent Large Scale Painting" at the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art in Peekskill, NY.

Justen Ladda is well known for his quirky sculptural assemblages and in 1986 had a heralded solo show at MoMA. The show's centerpiece was a large blue Pietà, which on closer inspection, turned out to be made of cereal boxes. Ladda's practice has always involved making things with painstaking precision — beautiful fresco paintings and dresses made of crystal, for example. His new "mirrors" and "noses" have taken on a more humorous quality, suggesting allusions to Artschwager, Picasso, opera, and science. His work is in the permanent collections of many institutions worldwide, including MoMA and the New York Public Library.