June 25th-August 29th 2015
Jack Pierson, artist and photographer who hails from The Boston School of image-makers, is the focal point of Cheim & Read’s new exhibition.
The show, entitled onthisisland, is his sixth exhibition with the gallery, showcasing a plethora of small watercolor and graphite works on paper, paintings and driftwood assemblages.
The works were all made during a self-imposed retreat on the island of North Captiva, off the gulf of Florida, from December to March of last year.
Nature is the pivotal theme within this body of work, manifested in a variety of forms and displayed in a series of enticing grids and rows.
Pierson created these works in a highly expressionist style, drawing upon old Surrealist techniques of automatic drawing. Automatic drawing is a method employed by the Surrealist masters, wherein the hand simply moves across the paper and the subconscious mind takes over.
Automatic drawing aids to put viewers in touch with the core Surrealist tenet of bringing the subconscious as purely and as effectively to the surface as possible. Automatic drawings are supposedly created in a state of pure trance, with images flowing onto the sheet of paper from the deepest inner recesses of the artist’s mind.
The Surrealists embraced automatic drawing as a way to incorporate randomness and the subconscious into their drawings and to free themselves from artistic conventions and everyday thinking. The technique, they felt, was a way to access meaning and information unavailable through tradition and the conscious mind.
Pierson himself describes these works are the direct result of his brain “dancing on paper.”
Having delved into his subconscious, Pierson has made a body of work that is both deeply personal and highly intriguing to the spectator. We are witnessing the manifestation of his inner intellectual and emotional microcosms. Pierson has succeeded in transforming his clandestine impulses into works of art that are both rooted in time and also transcendent.
The beauty of his work lies in the openness of it—each viewer has the luxury to bring his or her own interpretation to the pieces. With this show, we are witnessing two highly distinct realms: the natural and the supernatural. Amidst all the chaos New York that is moving full force from beyond these gallery walls, Pierson’s work has managed to get us out of our own hear.