Peter Lars Gravener was raised outside the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1991 he relocated to his adopted home of San Francisco, California, where his paintings have been informed by the sculptural play of light and dark and a photographic memory of color.
While receiving his BFA at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art, Gravener spent his junior year absorbing the saturated colors and decayed, peeling surfaces in Rome, Italy. Since that time, Gravener has continued playing with the theme of ”Pentimento,” or an alteration in a painting, evidenced by traces of previous work.
Gravener has exhibited in various venues in San Francisco and Los Angeles. He has received numerous portrait commissions based on his figurative oil paintings on wood. Gravener transforms his San Francisco studio space annually into a successful Salon style exhibit of his recent work.
My paintings begin with the figure, notably, the face. However,
I do not consider my work portraiture because I am not trying
to tell an individual story about my subjects. The individuals
are unadorned and expressionless. The distressed surface literally
and figuratively distances the individuals depicted from the
viewer. People may read their own personal experiences into
the faces. I think the basic recognition of human beings as
beautiful, ugly, and ultimately complicated creatures supersedes
personal interpretation and responses.
Peter Lars Gravener 2009