I first visited Havana in November 2016, a few days after Fidel Castro died, and just under a year before Hurricane Irma hit Cuba in September 2017. Since then, much has changed, including the hand-painted signs that punctuate the journey from the airport to the city centre, which today do not celebrate the revolution so much as the 'Unidad y...
The exhibition Beyond Boundaries at Somerset House in London (12 March–2 April 2019) marked the historic contributions of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (CAFA) and the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, on the occasion of their 100th and 150th anniversaries, respectively. Spread across several rooms of Somerset House's...
The National 2019: New Australian Art features work by 70 contemporary Australia-based artists split across three venues: the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), Carriageworks, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) (29 March–21 July 2019), as curated by Isobel Parker Philip, curator of photographs at AGNSW; Daniel Mudie Cunningham,...
Perrotin presents Josh Sperling’s third exhibition with the gallery, following two 2018 exhibitions in Paris and Seoul. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition in the gallery’s New York space, a kind of homecoming for Sperling, who lives and works in Ithaca, New York.
For Big Time, Sperling has adapted his signature vocabulary of forms to the expansive architecture of Perrotin New York’s third floor gallery. Swirling forms entwine, shapes—regular and organic—eclipse each other in what he calls 'composites' or clusters of shaped canvases, as 'squiggles' writhe and overtake entire walls.
Sperling’s work has a graphic immediacy, without the flatness that adjective may imply. The paintings, instead, are dimensional. Each begins with a meticulously crafted armature—feats of carpentry—over which canvas is stretched. The effect is not that of obscuring this engineering, but of highlighting, through colour when it is later applied, the sculptural skeleton underneath. If Sperling’s unique technique of shaping canvases to create relief from the wall has been classified as painting tending towards sculpture, then here, with scale and architectural space as conditioning factors, the result is painting and sculpture tending towards environment.
Sperling’s work, now recognisable for his particular brand of chromatic geometry, offers pop minimalist confections on a newly expanded scale. Take, for instance, the squiggle wall produced by Sperling: an edge-to-edge composition of snaking forms which takes a 15 by 17 foot wall as its host and support. Increasingly, Sperling’s work addresses the architecture in which it is exhibited and Big Time is no exception to this new direction for the artist.
Hocus Pocus is one of his grandest gestures to date, both in scale and scope, as he enlists the clustering strategy of his 'composites' to include all the shapes in his arsenal. It is an amalgam, a compendium of forms where echoes of works past can be found, as well as some indication of what compositional prowess Sperling has in store for future work.
Josh Sperling (born 1984 in Oneonta, NY) lives and works in Ithaca, New York. Since joining the gallery in 2018, Sperling has shown in its Paris and Seoul locations. He will have exhibitions at Perrotin Tokyo in July 2019 and Perrotin Paris in October 2019.
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