Morgan Lehman, New York, NY
Paul Wackers creates paintings that are rooted in the modernist tradition while simultaneously subverting this same history. As a devotee of 20th century European avant-garde painting, Wackers has spent long hours deciphering and deconstructing the manner in which artists like Matisse, Braque, and Picasso have committed three dimensional forms into paintings. Much of his output to this day can be viewed as an exercise in dynamic depiction. Wackers is inspired by objects in the everyday world and reconciles and reorganizes them into new and bold configurations. Wackers paintings are universal, yet clearly recognizable by his signature style which melds abstraction and figuration.
In the work, A Leading Question (2011), the viewer is presented with a dense scene of palm fronds and tangled pennant flag lines in a type of "post hurricane" vignette of a beachfront vacation landscape. Rising and curling in a twisting loop is a dark brown spray painted lasso that cuts through the lower center of the work. Viewers familiar with Wackers' paintings will recognize the use of the spray painted line as a recurring trope that signifies a break with naturalistic depiction. Essentially, with the spray painted loop Wackers is stating to the viewer that they have entered the artificial world of painting, where perception is purposely warped by the artist who controls space and time. In Wackers’ case we enjoy this artificial new world because it is at once familiar, and yet entirely original.
He has had solo exhibitions at Eleanor Harwood Gallery in San Francisco, Re:surgo in Berlin, Morgan Lehman Gallery in New York and Narwhal Art Projects in Toronto. His work has been included in group exhibitions at Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito, Charlotte Fogh Gallery in Aarhus Denmark, Alice Gallery in Brussels and Muddguts Gallery in New York, among other venues.
Courtesy of Morgan Lehman