Postcards from the World, Dan Perjovschi’s second solo exhibition at Lombard-Freid Projects, premiers a new work that maps the artist’s worldwide travels in dialogue with an historic piece of his, Postcards from America (1994). Known for his insightful social and political commentaries in the form of ephemeral wall drawings in museums, biennials and galleries, this unique installation will be his first exhibition devoted entirely to works on paper in over a decade. In each piece, more than 500 postcard-sized drawings of observations from his travels in the US and throughout the world are sketched with incisive punch and succeed in being as humorous and satirical as they are empathetic and profound. The exhibition offers an opportunity both to contemplate the historical time that separates these important pieces, and to acknowledge the underlying similarities and enduring issues.
Perjovschi responds to his immediate environment, delivering a personal interpretation to that which defines the local atmosphere of his given context. Never before exhibited in the gallery, Postcards from America is a major piece realized during a ten week artist-residency in 1994, which brought him to the United States for the first time. Having grown up in Romania under the autocratic regime of Nicolae Ceausescu, the visual diary of his impressions and reflections shows a confrontation with an idealized, mythical America. The artist approaches each new geographic destination with similar interest in examining reductive stereotypes, most often those perpetuated in the media, against his own perceptions and experiences.
Sixteen years later, Perjovschi has become an internationally acclaimed artist, scouting the world to transform the walls of exhibition halls from Stockholm to Beijing, and sketching his perceptions along the way for this new work. Postcards from the World engages these subjects with characteristic aplomb and wit, as each drawing combines graphic impact and smart wordplay. Taking inspiration and material from the local popular media, he touches upon the most trying and significant issues that mark our time – economic instability, religious fanaticism, terrorism, nationalism, consumerism – without being grim. In just a few strokes of black marker, he distills the current state of affairs of each site. Beyond politics, Perjovschi is never shy to expose the inner workings of the international art world within its own system replete with contradictions, while illuminating the role of the artist in society.
Perjovschi, born in Sibiu, Romania in 1961, lives and works in Bucharest, Romania. Current and upcoming exhibitions include Strange and Close, Vanabbemuseum, The Netherlands; The Promises of the Past, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; Dan Perjovschi: Late News, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada; Draw, San Francisco Art Institute, US; Project Europa: Imagining the (Im)Possible, Harn Museum of Art, University of Florida, US; Lodz Biennial, Poland.
The artist and Lombard-Freid Projects are grateful for the generous support of the Romanian Cultural Institute in New York.