Absence Presence / Peot • Pollock
April 27 - June 14, 2009
The work of Jason Peot and Perry Pollock intersect at a firm belief in the quiet power of abstract form. Peot's objects and installations develop from an acute awareness of the interaction between physical form and the condition of light. Shadows, solid forms and spaces conduct a lively dialogue directing attention back and forth through and beyond the space that his structures occupy. He employs materials such as aluminum, acrylic and wood, which are left exposed and pristine as in much of today's architecture. In contrast, Pollock obscures his wooden constructions with paint in a way that creates enigmatic surfaces. His small-scale pieces, which sometimes contain movable parts, are treated to appear used or worn. Pollock's minimalist objects are designed independent of their surroundings. Interrelationships between surface, form and movement occur within rather than outside of his works.
o p e n e d
June 13 - July 13, 2008
Beverly Arts Center
Perry Pollock’s painted objects do not fit neatly into the conventional categories of painting or sculpture. Surface and form are so congruous that the distinction between the pictorial and the sculptural becomes illegible. Pollock’s elemental forms seem to embrace ambiguity; they are familiar and strange, abstract and utilitarian. Pollock purposefully avoids tropes associated with making meaning in art. His work simply exists. Content and meaning are embedded in the very ontology of the object: surface, edge, plane, and part coalesce. They are minimalist but unlike much Minimalist work, their presence is not based on monumental scale, pictorial vacuity or the theatric. The works encourage close reading; they are scaled to the human hand and upon close inspection reveal a meticulous and heightened sensitivity to their construction. Pollock’s work is influenced by things of utility and industry. Their affinity with modularity, geometric purity and industrial surfaces of machined parts are humanized by their intimate scale and moveable appendages.
Pollock’s recent body of work evokes the tabular—material things relating to the horizontal, the tablet and to delineated structures, which order things through serial compartmentalization. The work consists of table-top structures and wall-mounted objects. Certain works are interactive, while others are fixed. As a group, the objects read as uniform blocks, tablets and rectilinear forms. The forms are repeatedly painted and sanded so that their coated surfaces fuse with the materiality of the object creating a perceptual push and pull between the pictorial and the physical. The paint is applied to simulate and reference matter, ranging from the obdurate and cold materials of industry to the worn and weathered surfaces of domestic objects. Surface reads as form, giving the works a sense of density and mass.
Upon initial inspection, the forms appear static and monolithic. Pollock complicates our perceptual knowledge of the forms by disrupting their unitary appearance through a nuanced articulation of formal relationships of part to whole and the revealed to the concealed. Many of the works contain hinges, hidden magnets and slots that allow parts to move—the work to be deployed. In Untitled (Hatch), a black rectilinear block can be penetrated by flipping open a small tab on the top to reveal a hollow black interior. Through tactile exploration, the apperceived solidity of form shifts to the opacity of emptiness; the eye cannot register space beyond the lip of the hatch lending the negative space a positive presence.
The interactions engendered by the construction of these forms relate to a rudimentary use of tools and a physical negotiation of the world of things, mundane gestures like sliding a slat into a slot or lifting and lowering a lever. Through tactile engagement, the forms acquire residual marks, a patina, so that the object becomes an archive of the presence and absence of touch. Pollock’s work emphasizes this contrast between the new and the used. The interactive pieces display the evolution from the newly fabricated to the domesticated object. This emphasis on tactile interaction encourages an appreciation for the routine. What is revealed is the stated elegance of the quotidian and our elementary relationship to the utilitarian.
–Stephany E. Rimland
Art History Faculty