Painting in the narrative tradition, Peter Coes produces two- and three-dimensional compositions of decidedly ordinary Cape Cod scenes, which are yet steeped in ambiguity, rife with enigmatic elements that evoke an open invitation for rich self-reflection.
Using distinctive and iconic imagery and palette, Coes has created a unique visual lexicon that is both entrancing and entirely unforgettable. His houses, boats, bicycles, women, birds and cats amidst dunes, waves, grasses, trees, shadows, and seashells speak in soft, stirring tones of lives lived, the days at hand, as well as ones yet to be discovered.
“A large amount of my effort goes into creating details and then attempting to hide them in the visual texture of the work. The idea is not only to provide the most complete and complex narrative but if possible to offer more than can be taken in, in any one viewing, to allow for an ongoing sense of discovery. Often, I’ll visit with people who have owned my paintings…and sometimes they’ll say ‘look at that, I didn’t know that was there,’ almost as if to say…I’d put something into their paintings when they weren’t looking. And that’s when I’ll know I’ve got what I am after.”
An award-winning artist, Peter Coes has been the subject of many feature articles in national and regional fine arts publications, as well as numerous solo exhibitions and museum invitationals throughout the United States. He has been a member of the venerable Copley Society of Art for over thirty years, achieving the distinguished status of Master in 2007. Of particular note, in 2002, the Cahoon Museum of American Art presented Peter Coes’ Neighborhood: A Thirty-Year Retrospective. Most recently, in 2013, the Cape Cod Museum of Art presented a solo exhibition, Peter Coes’ Studio.