Frederick Wight: Transcendental Landscapes

Dec 7, 2015 - Jan 22, 2016

New York

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Press Release

Gerald Peters Gallery is pleased to present Frederick Wight: Transcendental Landscapes, an exhibition of paintings by Los Angeles based artist and pioneering figure on the west coast contemporary art scene.

A multifaceted and influential figure, Frederick S. Wight left a legacy as painter, writer and educator. As the director of UCLA’s art department for 20 years, Wight shaped Los Angeles as a major art center, curating exhibitions of artists including Paul Klee, Francis Bacon, Morris Graves, and Henri Matisse.

In 1953 Wight accepted an offer to teach at UCLA’s art department and run the university’s new art gallery—a career move that would give the educator a platform to develop the art scene of Los Angeles. With UCLA’s gallery, Wight established the presence of modern art in an area formerly void of a significant art scene. Wight believed that art belonged on a pedestal worthy of intellectual respect and study, and possessed a proclivity for professionalism and understanding of the politics of successful exhibition.

However, Wight’s role as curator and director effectively impeded his artistic production. It was not until after his retirement in his seventies that he had the opportunity to focus on his art. Wight’s landscape paintings produced from 1974 up until his death in 1986 represent his legacy as an artist and the important contribution his work made to west coast art and American art in general.

Towards the end of his life with his final body of work, Wight became fascinated with translating the transcendental quality of time onto canvas. Wight channels the dramatic visceral effects of the western landscape with his use of dramatic swaths of stylized color that suggest an unrelenting temporal force. His landscapes are characterized by radiant, ethereal light that lends a mysterious and spiritual quality to his work. Skyscapes, often featuring multiple moons or suns, give substance to the balance between the endurance of nature versus the passage of time.

Frederick Wight: Transcendental Landscapes will be on view from December 7, 2015 through January 22, 2016. For information, contact Gavin Spanierman, Managing Director: (212) 628-9760 or View additional works on our website: