Art: The Cincinnati Series at Carl Solway Gallery

In his The Cincinnati Series of 29 paintings depicting depopulated city sites, Peter Waite — a Connecticut-based artist — neither celebrates nor dismisses what he sees.

Waite’s painting “Old School Boys Pool” is based on a swimming pool at the old School for Creative and Performing Arts.
Waite’s painting “Old School Boys Pool” is based on a swimming pool at the old School for Creative and Performing Arts.

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n his The Cincinnati Series of 29 paintings depicting depopulated city sites, Peter Waite — a Connecticut-based artist — neither celebrates nor dismisses what he sees. Rather, he just tells it like it is. His artwork is at Carl Solway Gallery in the West End through Aug. 1.

If he finds something architecturally interesting to him that is also conventionally beautiful, like the suspension bridge or Union Terminal or downtown’s Isaac M. Wise Temple, he acknowledges and presents it. But if it’s something that interests him because it’s abandoned and decrepit, or it no longer serves its original use, he presents that, too. 

While one wouldn’t call his work romantic — it’s too gutsy — it has a fascinating allure. Each acrylic painting is also impressive evidence of his skill and technique, considering the amount of detail included in works that for the most part are not large. He paints on panel rather than canvas. 

With this project he has emphasized a new, abstracted element in his technique — the use of an undercoat of fluorescent-like colors that sometimes creep or drip through onto the surface. He calls these “21st century primary colors” and feels somewhat ambivalent about that. He also allows for grid marks and laser beam-like “zips” to be evident.


THE CINCINNATI SERIES continues at Carl Solway Gallery through Aug. 1. More info: solwaygallery.com.


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