SARAH WALKER Edge of Everywhere
Pierogi is pleased to present an exhibition of recent paintings by Sarah Walker. In this new series, Walker continues to develop her highly active and dense surfaces, this time primarily on panel rather than paper. Structures found within technology, the sciences, nature and architecture provide the internal organization and logic for her paintings, which work to visually organize information. Through successive layers of paint “I inset intricate geometries within what seem to be sinking archipelagos and dissolving perspectival systems, which are themselves the residue left over from past layers. In this way spaces emerge, transform and then decay, always leaving a trace in the final painting. A self-imposed rule dictates that every layer remain partially visible.” (Walker, 2010) To achieve this, Walker applies very liquid paint that she either partially wipes away or allows to dry crusted and cracked, always leaving at least a trace of underlying layers. She paints into each layer, bringing forward underlying layers, pushing back overlying ones. “Every layer is both obliterated and preserved multiple times merging foregound, middle ground, and background and with it past, present, and the forecast of a future.” (Walker)
Walker’s earlier works can be seen as attempts to visually organize the information overload around us. In her recent paintings she deals further with the chaotic and multi-dimensional reality of existing simultaneously in the data overload of the real and the virtual worlds. One painting, titled “Everywhere Is Always,” hints at Walker’s attempt to get at where the so-called real and virtual have merged and the two realms are no longer easily distinguishable. This is a world where fixed terms have yielded to fluid states and where there exist multiple and ever more permeable realities. Each painting, with its surface of maximal density, “parallels the state of being to be found within spaces that are virtual, dematerialized, and interwoven.” (“Manifest Densities,” Maier, Lee, Walker) They simultaneously work to allow the visual co-existence of the material and non-material. Sarah Walker’s work has been included in numerous museum and gallery exhibitions and is included in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art (NYC), the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Decordova Museum, the Neuberger Museum, and the Rappaport Foundation. She is a recipient of the Rappaport Prize. This will be Walker’s third one-person exhibition at Pierogi.
KEN WEATHERSBY Perfect Mismatch
Pierogi is pleased to present the first New York exhibition of Ken Weathersby’s paintings. These are paintings of intense, elegant grids of primary color that subtly invert expectations in a number of ways. While some of the carefully penciled and painted canvases simply display their colorful patterns, others, in whole or in part, are turned to face the wall. Several have cut-away sections, which have been replaced by fitted inset panels painted with grids that either mimic or contrast with the surrounding canvas. The exhibition also contains a number of two-sided paintings, which may be flipped and re-hung during the course of the show to expose a hidden view. Another painting is set flush within a carved-out hole and is situated within, rather than hung on, the surface of the gallery wall.
The paintings in the show are related in feeling to minimal and monochrome abstract painting, presenting color and materials matter-of-factly, but according to the artist they were also partly prompted by the work of 15th-century Sienese painter Giovanni di Paolo: “Giovanni’s works are full of contradictions, full of visual opulence but also of things withheld.”
Weathersby’s paintings are simultaneously conceptual and visual. In his essay “Malleable Objects,” Washington DC area curator Mark Cameron Boyd has referred to Weathersby as a “post-conceptual artist”, one whose work “addresses missed theoretical opportunities inherent in object-making.” This exhibition as a whole and the individual works within it are oriented to create a visual play of optical experiences, but also a particular kind of mental or conceptual engagement. According to the artist, “Paintings are visual objects. Usually we think of the ‘object’ part as supporting the ‘visual,’ of the wooden stretcher and canvas as just being there to hold up the image that we are meant to see. But those two different aspects can play with or against each other to open other thoughts or yield different problems. When the painting not only presents, but also denies pleasure or information, it complicates things. It can require some deciphering. It must be held in the mind as well as seen.”
Ken Weathersby received an MFA in Painting from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Detroit. His work was recently included in The National Academy of Art Museum’s 183rd Annual: An Invitational Exhibition of Contemporary American Art in New York.