Untitled, 2011, Oil on canvas, 35×27 inches
Harris Lieberman is pleased to announce Zak Prekop’s second solo exhibition with the gallery. For the occasion, the artist will present a constellation of new work that fills the gallery with polyphonies of forms and correspondences. Ranging from large blue monochromes to paper-collaged canvases, these paintings hang in delicate suspension between optical, illusionistic and material states.
Several of the works on view find Prekop collaging cut paper to the backsides of raw canvas, in a play of opacities that casts the fabric in bas-relief and projects shadow-like shapes on its surface. In others, he spreads paint out with a palette knife, as if priming a canvas and stopping short. These incomplete fields create gestural images, but they are rerouted by various systems and procedures: sets of parallel lines that create grids or a rendering of stretcher bars fall within the edges of the fields, for example; as do forms in pink and red, painted to simulate the paper collaged beneath. These flat, partly pictorial areas gauge the shallow depths of their armatures, taking stock of the materials that give Prekop’s paintings their physical and visual effect.
Colors vibrate at tonal thresholds, inducing optical states that assert the corporeality of viewing. Standard pigments like cobalt are at turns built up and thinned out to form the palette knifed fields and pattern mesh of a new group of large-scale monochromes. Layered into these intricate images are stencils from Prekop’s other paintings. These formal echoes recur, throughout the exhibition, along with punctuation-like paintings of single white dots on aleatoric, red monoprints.
Brown paper-bags take over the surfaces of another group of canvases. The bags are taken apart and flattened to reveal their two-dimensional form and set into measured relationships with the edges of the canvases they are collaged to. Prekop paints up against their creases in black or paints lines and shapes that mimic the margins between the bags and the paintings’ edges or the perforations that are part of the bags’ manufacturing and use. Others lie untouched with paint but are combined into diptychs with columns for raw canvas that confuse the divisions between the panels. They, too, hang in careful suspension: neither windows nor placeholders but testaments to Prekop’s poetics of method.
Zak Prekop (b. 1979) received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2008. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. He will have his first solo museum show in Fall 2012 at the Contemporary Art Museum in Raleigh, North Carolina and has had solo exhibitions at Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago and Galleria Marta Cervera, Madrid. His work has recently been exhibited in The Pittsburgh Biennial at Carnegie Museum of Art; The Fifth Prague Biennale, Prague, Czech Republic; and Greater New York, MoMA PS1, Queens. Prekop also makes music and art with Hurray, a collaboration with artists Josh Brand, Peter Mandradjieff and Richard Aldrich.