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Jason Eberspeaker, This Jackie

Thomas Erben Gallery
526 West 26th Street, 4th Floor, 212-645-8701
February 7 - March 15, 2008
Reception: Thursday, February 7, 6 - 8:30 PM
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Thomas Erben is pleased to present the first solo show of New York based painter Jason Eberspeaker, a 2006 graduate from Yale’s MFA program. A very strong, promising artist, we have followed his work over the past three years and have been increasingly thrilled with expectation and excitement.

For This Jackie, the artist (with his assistant and sister Temple Eberspeaker) created a series of silver paintings – the link to Warhol becomes apparent – peopled with images based on publicity shots, film stills or advertisements, all hovering around the suggested meeting point of gender. Whereas these visuals were formalized as per their selection, the subsequent painterly treatment with such “effects” as overlapping, mirroring or the use of negatives invests them with latent specificity.

However, at the root of Eberspeaker’s practice is constant, self-reflexive undermining. This leads him to undercut the incipient specificity of each painting by the homogeneity of their size, which, then again, is subverted by their placement in deliberate groupings with one isolated “Jackie,” alone on a mauve wall – an intervention into the mechanics of the exhibition itself.

There is a hermaphroditic bent in Eberspeaker’s work; whereas, in theory, a hermaphrodite, being simultaneously male and female, should not need another gender for procreation, an outside agent is nevertheless essential. The idea of this showing is that the structure of the exhibition itself, combined with the subject matter of the paintings, becomes an inseminated space of androgynous critique.

Previously, Eberspeaker’s work was successfully included in An Inch of Truth, a group show at the gallery (Fall 2006). He has also participated in exhibitions at Yale University and in Smoke and Mirrors at China Art Objects, Los Angeles (2006). He was born in 1980 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

In the project space, Oakland based Paul Schiek exhibits photo works, collectively titled “Holes and Halos”, his first East Coast appearance.

Shot in b/w, the actual making of the images is not as important to Schiek as is their editing and sequencing, which often results in the placement of several images on one sheet. Viewed together, their installation creates a blanketing effect that runs the spectrum of human emotions. Recurrent motifs are anthropomorphized trees, physical interactions, water and, generally, the tension between light and dark. In this language of opposites, Schiek finds the building blocks of a practical truth; a reminder that all life follows the same path: genesis of form then decay, and, in between, seemingly random alternation between isolation and community. In fact, at the opening, in order to further his constructive sense of human association, Schiek plans to make available newsprints with images of his work so that everyone can take home a tangible work of art.

Born 1977 in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Paul Schiek earned his BFA from the California College of the Arts in 2005. His work was shown in the traveling exhibition Beautiful Losers: Contemporary Art and Street Culture organized by the Contemporay Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH (2004/05). Lawrence Rinder included him in a recent showing of graduates (2007) and he has participated in numerous group exhibitions including at the Stephen Wirtz Gallery, San Francisco, and the Oakland Museum of California.
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