Ken Weathersby, 169 (k & w), 2009
Acrylic & graphite on canvas, two panels,
with removed and replaced areas
24 x 32 inches
May 28 – June 27, 2010
Pierogi is pleased to present the first New York exhibition of Ken Weathersby’s paintings. These are paintings of intense, elegant grids of primary color that subtly invert expectations in a number of ways. While some of the carefully penciled and painted canvases simply display their colorful patterns, others, in whole or in part, are turned to face the wall. Several have cut-away sections, which have been replaced by fitted inset panels painted with grids that either mimic or contrast with the surrounding canvas. The exhibition also contains a number of two-sided paintings, which may be flipped and re-hung during the course of the show to expose a hidden view. Another painting is set flush within a carved-out hole and is situated within, rather than hung on, the surface of the gallery wall.
The paintings in the show are related in feeling to minimal and monochrome abstract painting, presenting color and materials matter-of-factly, but according to the artist they were also partly prompted by the work of 15th century Sienese painter Giovanni di Paolo: “Giovanni’s works are full of contradictions, full of visual opulence but also of things withheld.”
Weathersby’s paintings are simultaneously conceptual and visual. In his essay “Malleable Objects,” Washington DC area curator Mark Cameron Boyd has referred to Weathersby as a “post-conceptual artist”, one whose work “addresses missed theoretical opportunities inherent in object-making.” This exhibition as a whole and the individual works within it are oriented to create a visual play of optical experiences, but also a particular kind of mental or conceptual engagement. According to the artist, “Paintings are visual objects. Usually we think of the ‘object’ part as supporting the ‘visual,’ of the wooden stretcher and canvas as just being there to hold up the image that we are meant to see. But those two different aspects can play with or against each other to open other thoughts or yield different problems. When the painting not only presents, but also denies pleasure or information, it complicates things. It can require some deciphering. It must be held in the mind as well as seen.”
Ken Weathersby received an MFA in Painting from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Detroit. His work was recently included in The National Academy of Art Museum’s 183rd Annual: An Invitational Exhibition of Contemporary American Art in New York and in Postconceptualism at Moderno in Washington, DC. His paintings were featured in the Mid-Atlantic edition of New American Paintings. He is the recipient of a Mid-Atlantic Arts / New Jersey State Council on the Arts Fellowship in Painting.