Lorraine Peltz

Artist Statement

“I came to Chicago from New York for graduate school at the University of Chicago and quickly found rewarding work teaching. I’ve had many wonderful opportunities to exhibit at galleries here and find Chicago a welcoming and sustaining city for an artist to work in.”




The contemporary moment, history, literature, film, collective memory and place

School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Packer Schopf Gallery, ArtTable, the city of Chicago


Lorraine Peltz’s paintings are complex ruminations on the nature of private identity and public persona. Using imagery culled from both personal history and the contemporary moment, they reference both past and present. The current paintings use the remembered image of a particular chandelier and through its simultaneous resolution and dissolution shift the focus to memory, which can be both melancholic and exuberant. In these paintings the chandelier conjures a remembered culture. In others she joins that image with patterned flowers, starbursts, and decorative flourishes to present the now – particularly women’s fantasy and desires. Peltz links these various painting languages, including recognizable imagery, signs and symbols, and painterly abstraction, to mimic how information comes to us and how meaning is made, bit by bit -- real life alongside memory, poetry next to prose, in order to illuminate the larger issues surrounding identity and place that concern us all. Her works become landscapes of both the exterior world and an interior space of dream, desire, and memory. In a recent essay about the work, Lisa Wainwright, Dean of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, has written: “Both of nature and from culture, her icons speak to the polemic between essentialism and social construction that still grips feminist discourse. They are a mix of aesthetic delight and conceptual reading.”

Peltz has had numerous solo shows and been included in many group exhibitions including at the Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, Galerie Piltzer, Paris, Cheryl McGinnis Gallery, NYC, Arden Gallery, Boston, Olga Dollar Gallery and Micaela Gallery, San Francisco, Carrie Secrist Gallery, Gosia Koscielak Gallery, Printworks Gallery, Rhona Hoffman, Chicago, the Rockford Art Museum, the Renaissance Society in Chicago, the Herbert Johnson Museum at Cornell University, the Elmhurst Art Museum, Incorniciarte Gallery in Verona, Italy and many others. In 2008 the exhibition Excellent Hostess: Selected Paintings: 1993-2008 as part of the Outstanding Midwestern Artists Series was held at the Center for Fine and Performing Arts, Munster, IN. She lives and works in Chicago and teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.