May 15th 2010

Zachary Buchner: Nowhere Anywhere Here and False Positive

@ Andrew Rafacz Gallery

835 W Washington Blvd, Chicago, IL 60607

Opening Saturday, May 15th, from 4PM - 7PM

On view through Saturday, June 19th

Producing paintings that look and feel like sculptures and sculptures that address painting’s primary concerns, Zachary Buchner has created a body of work that upends both mediums and, in doing so, investigates place in an elemental way. The artist is interested in making work that demands that the viewer shift down in a world where experiences are at their most accelerated. Barnett Newman wrote “painting should give man a sense of place, that he knows he’s there, so he’s aware of himself” and this resonates in Buchner’s work and is an important point of departure for the artist. This slowing down in order to recapture a sense of place or presentness is fundamental to the work.

This also guides the way Buchner’s own ‘hand’ is evident in the production of both the paintings and sculptures. In the sculptures, the drips on otherwise clean architectural forms imply a gravity and orientation that make the viewer aware of the artist’s action and placement within the work. Furthermore, the inclusion of particular pedestals, often painted and even peculiar, reveals how the display and placement of the work is thoroughly considered. In the paintings, plaster is poured over stretched burlap and manipulated by the artist, undoing the traditional notion of a painterly surface. Numerous multidirectional paint applications, creating at once both depth and false shadows, imply the specific choices and positions of the artist.

For Buchner, the notion that paintings should make contact with the world is at the core of his practice and concerns. The title of the exhibition simultaneously addresses the contemporary lack of center and the openness of possibility as a result. It reasserts the necessity for art that makes you take your time, to notice where you are, that you are here, in this moment.

False Positive features new painting by Andrew Falkowski and new photographs by Joe Pflieger in Gallery Two.

The interplay of image and reflection, index and subjectivity is the focus of False Positive. Each artist sits uncomfortably in his chosen medium, displacing themselves within the specific material and conceptual framework while developing a cross referentiality between painting and photography. Joe Pflieger’s photographs of decorative art objects in display cases share a common interest with Andrew Falkowski’s paintings of small ‘crown’ sculptures made from craft paper set in mirrored kiosks. Both artists depict refracting, shimmering surfaces to create a space where the boundary between image, object, reflection and medium become points of investigation. Falkowski’s airbrushed paintings use photographic precision and depth of field as primary structural devices. Conversely, the rich tone and color nuance of Pflieger’s dark, matte photographs create a sensory surface experience usually associated with painterly concerns.

This project presents images in flux, images signifying displayed authority in the act of becoming or devolving. In either case, Andrew Falkowski and Joe Pflieger’s work alludes to a melancholic, liminal space where material identity is an act of constant re-calibration of negotiated terms. In so doing, False Positive embodies a contemporary context where subjectivity and history are continually lost at the moment of presentation.

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