Paradigm Gallery is pleased to present Recessive, an exhibition of new collage works by the Philadelphia-based visual artist Alex Eckman-Lawn. The exhibition, marking Eckman-Lawn's debut solo show with the gallery, will open on October 26, and remain on view through December 6, 2018.
Amalgamating disparate images from a myriad of sources, Eckman-Lawn's latest multi-layered, hand-cut paper collages continue the artist's ongoing exploration of his anxieties and fears, recurrent themes of interest particularly focused upon the body and the weight of family history.
Drawing from his experience as an illustrator, Eckman-Lawn employs a distinctive vocabulary of disturbing images and symbols, building a unique, moody and tense visual narrative focused upon the body's potential for entrapment, as cage for its human subject.
Inspired by comics and illustration and influenced by artists as diverse as Egon Schiele and Moebius, Eckman-Lawn mines everything from his own original digital paintings to photographs found in old medical textbooks. Balancing grotesquerie with the artist's sweet-tempered nature, he rearranges the pieces into chimerical new images, both visceral and haunting.
Employing an illusionistic layering technique, in which he cuts a hole into as many as a half-dozen layers of hand-cut paper, Eckman-Lawn creates exceptional depth, a literal and figural void in the center of his work. His collages, at once precise and sure-handed, have a sulfurous glow, a magical aura seemingly rising dark and ominous from the hinterland of his mind.
Recalling the Surrealist works of Max Ernst and Joseph Cornell, contradictory figures and objects, complex and ambiguous, transform reality. And yet there's a sobering quality, an unexpected substantiality to his dreaminess--for Eckman-Lawn, horror and nostalgia seem to ground the mind, his foreboding dreamscapes existing within a fragmented yet tangible architecture.
Grappling with the psychology of unease, Eckman-Lawn's collaged assemblages navigate the unchartered areas of unlovely chaos, giving visual form to his emotionally charged sentiments.