Morgan Lehman Gallery is pleased to present Thank You For Being You, Paul Wackers’ second solo exhibition with the gallery. In his latest body of work, Wackers continues to play with notions of the familiar, creating dynamic and increasingly complex visual environments replete with recognizable yet ultimately unknowable objects.
In these paintings of shelves, windows, and interior landscapes, forms range from non-representational layers of viscous paint to discernible objects. While Wackers creates an illusionistic construction of space with subtle angles and perspectival lines defining depth, a physical dimensionality is built through varying levels of paint application. This conversation between impasto and perspective disrupts our understanding of the composition and objects within it; the pictorial space both flattens and expands depending on the location of the viewers gaze. Despite the implied reality of certain forms such as shelves, vessels, or plants, the contrast between these and the splatters of acrylic or slashes of spray paint are always present. In looking at those abstracted forms, the viewer is confronted by the idea that the mysterious shapes are more real than the identifiable objects. While the potted plants are symbols we can conclusively identify, these abstractions are simply paint.
With the creation of ceramics, Wackers has begun to turn his painted forms into physical objects. Ranging from abstracted forms to stacks of bowls and vessels, Wackers’ approach to this medium is both playful and textural. Using conventional pottery techniques and tools, Wackers makes sculptures that often resemble but quickly veer away from functional wares. Built without the constraints of use-value, he is free to explore the visual potential of this ancient practice.
Paul Wackers was born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1978. He graduated with his BFA from Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, DC, and his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. Wackers has exhibited nationally and internationally in Belgium, Canada, San Francisco, CA, Los Angeles, CA, and New York, NY. He recently completed a large-scale public mural for The James Hotel (New York, NY) and has been featured in Hyperallergic, New American Painting, and Art Practical. His work is held in numerous private and public collections.