Joshua Liner Gallery is pleased to present Tessellating Pigments, an exhibition of new “geofabulous” paintings by the New York-based artist Damon Soule. This is Soule’s second solo show with the gallery.
Working in acrylic on wood and on canvas, Soule’s paintings depict fantastic atmospheres of ambiguous makeup and density, which dance with hovering volumes. These “forms” are primarily geometric—triangular, rectilinear—that shift between 2-D and 3-D figuration. Initially flat, the forms are spurred to “tessellate,” evolving into diamonds, cubes, etc., that fan out in all planar directions. In combination, they create soaring arcs that appear both decorative and menacing. Like screen “grabs” from a video game, these views explode with pattern, virtuosic manipulations of perspective, and lively colors. The cropped views hint at larger dimensions beyond the picture plane, heightening optical tension. They also suggest a parallel with “virtual space” and the collective sensation of worlds just beyond our keyboards.
In Photonic Wave Collapse, the eponymous event is depicted as rows of exploding gemstones—brilliantly colored, these faceted forms blow outward in arcs of light and force. Below this disintegrating grid are deeper layers of pattern and atmosphere, a dark underworld that is difficult to penetrate or decode. No less complex, Portalhedron is more tranquil in tone, with pellucid ripples of water-like pattern that descend toward and encircle a centrally placed light source. More gemstone-facet patterns array the outer edges of the image, shifting in and out of flatness and dimensionality, coming toward or retreating from the viewer. This ambiguity is key to the dynamism in Soule’s mysterious “abstractions.”
Elsewhere, the work of Buckminster Fuller, Bridget Riley, and Julie Mehretu comes to mind in Soule’s deft evocation of geometric space. Often resolving around a central or multiple sources of energy/light—a fiery explosion or atomic implosion—these areas of pattern give structure and rhythm to passages of wild gestural painting. Essentially abstract works, these “representative” riffs are a kitschy homage to graphic design forebears as well as celebrations of today’s obsession with urban street art and CGI image-making in video gaming and cinema.
Born in Atlanta in 1974, Damon Soule grew up in New Orleans, studied at the San Francisco Art Institute, and currently lives and works in New York. He cofounded FIT skateboards and Civilian Clothing in 1996, both early platforms for his art. Solo exhibitions of his work include: Same Loud No, Fecal Face Dot Gallery, San Francisco (2009); Amused Loon, Joshua Liner Gallery, New York (2008); and Lacksadayscycle, Lineage Gallery, Philadelphia (2007). Selected group exhibitions include: Further, Joshua Liner Gallery, New York (2010); Summer Group Exhibition, Joshua Liner Gallery, New York (2009); 365, 111 Minna Gallery, San Francisco (2008); Green Art Exhibition, Robert Berman Gallery, Santa Monica (2007); and Outside Art, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco (2002).