Peter Gerakaris was Wave Hill’s very first Sunroom Project Space artist and Spectrumorphosis (2007) was his first solo exhibition. Playing with the color spectrum, the installation sought to harmonize hot and cool tones usually used in contrast with one another. Sunlight filtered into the room through vinyl gels painted with vibrant botanical and biomorphic imagery, generating a tropical reversal of what was then a winter landscape in the gardens beyond the gallery. The north wall of the space was covered with a stereographic wall mural with botanical silhouettes suggestive of retinal after-images, enhancing the viewer’s experience of the total environment. The broad leaves of several live plants captured the filtered light, heightening the tropical artifice. Gerakaris’s exploration of the relationship between light and color produced rhythmic patterns throughout the room, creating an immersive experience for visitors.
The natural environment of Wave Hill inspired the imagery Peter Gerakaris uses for Ventana Origami Sculpture, the work he is creating for Call & Response, the 2017 anniversary show in Glyndor Gallery. This versatile piece is a stand-alone work, as well as a model for creating a large-scale, public pavilion. As the first Sunroom artist, Gerakaris’s 2007 installation Spectrumorphosis gave the artist an opportunity to create a room-sized installation that would be a new experience and a new method of working. Ten years ago, he installed colored gels and paintings of botanical imagery in the windows in the Sunroom, its most dominant architectural feature. Ventana Origami Sculpture now propels Gerakaris’s work into the arena of public art, and reflects the direction of his career after his Sunroom Project. For this new work, he prints a kaleidoscopic composition on the surface of an origami sculpture, installing it atop a mirrored surface that, as with his earlier installation, transforms the light in the gallery space. The result is a highly stylized vision of the natural world, experienced through contemporary cultural filters.
Ventana Origami Sculpture
"Experiencing an interdisciplinary mix of media and being encouraged and nurtured in pushing the envelope have set the tone for all my subsequent projects, many of which have engaged the public sphere."
Trained as a painter, Spectrumorphosis challenged Gerakaris’s practice by pushing him to experiment with ways to combine painting with large-scale installation, murals, digital media and sculpture. Subsequent projects, which feature an interdisciplinary mix of media, include work at Cornell Tech, The Surrey Hotel, Bergdorf Goodman and a Percent for Art commission at a public school. The tropical motif that first appeared in Spectrumorphosis has reemerged as a theme in later installations, in Tropicália at RIVAA Gallery on Roosevelt Island, New York, NY; Armory Art Center East Gallery in West Palm Beach, FL; and in a solo show at FXFOWLE Gallery in New York, NY. His work has received press coverage in Architectural Digest, W Magazine, The Financial Times and Artlog.