An exhibition of new paintings by Bay Area artist Aaron Petersen is on display at the Ruth Bachofner Gallery in Santa Monica through Jan. 8.

In his new body of work, Petersen focuses on the complexities of communication from a personal to global perspective, a gallery spokesperson explains.

“The success and breakdown of communication, in both the physical and unseen, inner environment is physically translated and embodied in Petersen’s paintings,” the spokesperson says.

Petersen states, “In my version of our environments, I use paint to study aspects of being human in regards to how we navigate ourselves, culture and our world.From a personal level to the larger cultural and global stage, we have all experienced the delicate balance of intention versus outcome.

“In my paintings, thoughts, words and intentions take shape in an abstract world where there is beauty, danger, uncertainty and hope.”

Aluminum boxes with three-inch thick sides “set the stage for the meeting of dripping, floating and diaphanous forms with tight, sweeping lines,” the spokesperson adds. In all of Petersen’s paintings, an ethereal, playful sense merges with something unsettling.

The Ruth Bachofner Gallery, 2525 Michigan Ave. G2, Santa Monica, is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.

Information, (310) 829-3300, or