THE WEDGE — When he was organizing shows in Art of This’ former storefront gallery on Nicollet Avenue — a space that existed from roughly 2007–2010 — David Petersen’s sartorial signature was a fraying baseball cap, often paired with faded jeans and a hoodie.
After two years of hosting art gatherings in his south Minneapolis apartment and shifting to a behind-the-scenes role with Art of This, Petersen is back in Southwest with a for-profit venture, the new David Petersen Gallery near Lyndale & Franklin. Maybe because it’s his name on the plate glass that Petersen showed up for work recently in black slacks and a gray sweater over a blue gingham shirt — no cap in sight.
It is the uniform of a man whose mission is, as he put it, “to figure out how to create new collectors.”
Petersen is certain they are out there in Minneapolis. But there may not be a gallery right now that speaks to the interests of younger collectors, in particular, and that’s the crowd you could imagine walking through Petersen’s door: the same people who were slurping Black Label in Art of This’ basement back in 2010 — just with a bit more discretionary income than in their hipster days.
The gallery is on its second show since opening in September, featuring painter Kristopher Benedict from Milwaukee and Brooklyn-based sculptor Fabienne Lasserre. Benedict wields color with a Fauvist’s intensity, but finds his imagery on the Internet; Lasserre is showing some of her gangly, paint-splattered sculptures.
While Art of This had an intensely local focus, Petersen is looking nationally and internationally for artists to show in his new gallery.
Said Petersen: “The idea here is that it’s not a Minneapolis gallery, it’s a gallery in Minneapolis.”
— Dylan Thomas