Saturday, April 23, 2011

Jack Pierson & Elliott Puckett: To Cut & Construct

[Seven untitled works by Jack Pierson (1998), photographic collages. Two untitled works by Elliott Puckett (2011), ink on paper.]

In association with Cheim & Read and Paul Kasmin galleries, Danziger Projects presents a two-person show of collages by Jack Pierson and Elliott Puckette. Synthesizing the artists' interest in the practice of collage as well as their longstanding friendship, this exhibition presents two quite different expressions of the medium. Pierson's collages are made from cut photographic c-prints while Puckette's are assembled works made on heavy handmade artist's papers. Linking these works are visceral qualities of the finished pieces and their execution’s very skill and originality.

Jack Pierson's work explores emotional undercurrents of everyday life—his photos and collages colorful quests bursting with tropical vegetation, cloud scattered skies, and blurry human figures. Cut and assembled into beguiling abstract shapes and compositions, his works explode with vibrant color. Like much of his work—including his well-known "word" pieces—Pierson's photo-collages harness narrative content and mine his visual archive’s form and color.

Elliott Puckette's work utilizes distinct use of line: What results are abstract paintings and works on paper that reference the body, calligraphic script, and musical scores. In Puckette's painted works, the line is carved out of colored grounds with a razor blade, while her works on paper reverse the process. Starting with a blank piece of handmade paper, Puckette begins with gesture. The resultant composition is developed carefully, painstakingly, and viscerally. Meticulously painted in ink, her lines wax and wane as they journey around the paper.

Puckette's collage works deconstruct the fluidity of her elegant compositions on paper. In her own words, collage becomes "a kind of recycling, of taking old drawings and ripping them up, and reconfiguring them to create a disjointed image." Yet, in doing so she mirrors her usual labor intensive process. Her torn drawings are held together with glue, which starts to pucker underneath the layers of paper. This is "the paper having its own life," she says. This is a reminder of loss of control, and a forcible letting go.

Jack Pierson and Elliott Puckette have each had solo exhibitions at Danziger Projects. This is their first joint show at the gallery. Both artists' work can be found in major museum collections throughout the world.

The exhibit of new paintings and drawings, at the Earl McGrath Gallery Los Angeles, is Elliott Puckette’s first solo show with the gallery. Puckette's paintings have shown in New York, London, Milan, and Los Angeles since 1993, including the Paul Kasmin Gallery, Matthew Marks Gallery, and The Armand Hammer Museum.

“Collage”: Jack Pierson & Elliott Puckette
Through April 30, 2011
534 West 24th Street NYC 10011

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