Morgan Lehman Gallery is pleased to present new abstract paintings by Jeff Perrott. Entitled Random Walks in Endless Fields, the show is the artist’s third solo exhibition at the gallery, and the first to feature his recently developed body of stochastic system-driven oil paintings. The show concurrently with a show of the same title at Boston’s LaMontagne Gallery. The double exhibition features a catalogue with an interview of the artist by well-known critic Francine Koslow Miller.
Random Walks in Endless Fields both describes the artist’s non-deterministic process; a continuous one-inch thick line painted by a random process in an unbroken picture plane – as well as the underlying sense of vastness and play at the core of this diverse and versatile artist’s oeuvre.
The new work represents a return to the system-based painting practice that established Perrott’s reputation in the mid 90s, while it expands that investigation into the chance, uncertainty, contingency, and open-endedness inherent in the random walk process.
“It’s a negotiation between the chance-driven movement of the line and the intuitive movement of the paint stroke,” says the artist of the process. While random walk analysis is used in the applied sciences to turn uncertainty into calculated risk, here the artist allows all the uncertainty and risk, in the interplay of chance and painting.
Recalling Duchamp’s ‘3 Standard Stoppages’, William Anastasi’s chance drawings, and the line explorations of Brice Marden, Perrott’s lush paintings erase formal/conceptual and formal/process distinctions, simultaneously embracing and undercutting the loose, expressive, undulating knots of color that result. Ultimately they offer a gentle critique of the ‘certain’ move to meaning at the core of art, and invite closer inspection of suppositions about the means and ends of painting.