About the Artist
Born in Berlin in 1915, Vita Petersen began her fine art studies at the Berlin Academy with Carl Hofer and the Munich School of Fine Arts. Immigrating to New York City in 1938, Petersen began studying at the world-renowned Hoffman School. Like her legendary teacher Hans Hoffman, Petersen has come into her own to produce her most compelling and mature works during her later years. Building on Hoffman’s “push and pull” theory, Petersen creates a visual tension between the positive and negative forms in her compositions. The effect not only gives the viewer the experience of depth on a flat surface, but also the actual simulation of movement.
Petersen experienced first hand the technique of “all over painting” during daily interactions with Jackson Pollock while summering in Springs, East Hampton in 1948 and 1949. The artist has said that meeting Pollock changed her way of experiencing and creating art. While exhibiting at Betty Parsons Gallery in the late 1960’s and ‘70’s, she gave up abstractions and created more realistic works—primarily figures in a crowd or still life. After this period she went back to her non-objective style where, as the artist herself says, “the paintings take over, and I follow.” As one of the few living artists working from the golden age of American Abstract Art, Petersen’s new works reflect the culmination of a long and successful career.
Vita Petersen has taught painting and drawing at the Spence School and exhibited her works at the Betty Parsons and Tanager Galleries. Her works are included in the collections of Mrs. Blanche Rockefeller, the Joseph Hirschhorn Collection, The Corcoran Museum, The Weatherspoon Gallery, First National bank in Chicago and others.
Biographical note by kind permission of Mark Borghi Fine Art