Ken Weathersby’s exhibition, Strange Fit, presents abstract paintings that shuffle optical and physical elements, playing the visual against the tactile. In each painting there is an unraveling of expectations as paint, linen, and wood deviate from their usual roles. Grids of bright color on the painted fronts of the canvases create retinal effects like moiré patterns, and the suggestion of visual movement and space, but those surfaces are often interrupted by a reordering of the parts of the painting. Works have pieces removed and replaced, or have parts of their painted faces covered, reversed or hidden from view. Paintings have been taken apart, then carefully fitted back together, but fitted together strangely, with odd elisions, inversions and substitutions. “In these paintings I’m drawn to contradictions and slippages in visual language. Because of the emphasis on physical aspects of painting, and the sometimes elaborate wood structures that develop, people have asked me if they are becoming sculpture. The answer is no, even if the thing becomes free-standing, it’s still painting. Responding to the conditions of painting gives me something to work against. The paintings seem to be undoing something about how they would normally function. That undoing can be a blunt confrontation, or an almost invisible cut.” (Weathersby, 2012)
“Intellectually, we might encounter Ken Weathersby’s work as a visual puzzle to be solved, but there is more at stake here. What is the emotion of assembly and disassembly, visibility and invisibility, regularity and disruption, and why is this interesting and how does it enhance our lives? What is the psychology of gaps, slips, incisions, displacements, and what use is this to us? . . . Respectfully but rigorously, the spaces of the paintings echo the intimate, perplexing, meaningful spaces of ourselves.” (Chris Ashley, 2011)
This will be Ken Weathersby’s second one-person exhibition at Pierogi. Other solo shows include The Other Ken Weathersby at Aferro Gallery in Newark in 2012, and Time Is the Diamond at Some Walls in Oakland, California, in 2011. His work has been exhibited at venues including the National Academy of Art Museum’s 183rd Annual: An Invitational Exhibition of Contemporary American Art in New York, and the Painting Center in New York. Weathersby received an MFA in Painting from Cranbrook Academy of Art.