Jack Pierson at Daniel Reich

Jack Pierson Psycho Killer 2000 plastic [sic] 10" x 40" x 36" [view of work as installed lying on floor, with ambient lights eliminated]

Jack Pierson Black Jackie 1991 acrylic paint, plywood, silver and black rain curtain, cigarette and ash, christmas lights, color gel (dimensions variable) [large detail of installation, with ambient lights eliminated]

Jack Pierson Breakfast, Hope  Dinner, Fear 1982 plastic panels and lettering 20" x 15.75" each [installation view]

While we were still in the midst of this wonderful installation Barry had said that the Jack Pierson show at Daniel Reich felt like a small museum retrospective. I totally agree, but I would add that it's a interestingly selective survey, since there are almost no photographs. in "Jack Pierson: Early Works and Beyond - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road".

Hmmm. Would I be reading too much into the curious omission of examples from a medium through which most people came to know Pierson's art if I were to dwell very long on it? I mean, is photography supposed to be over?

I certainly hope not, and not just because it's the only form I've ever worked in myself. For at least thirty years I haven't been able to think of photography as distinct from the aggregate of the other visual arts, and so I've always thought it strange to see "photography" indicated as a separate category in so many gallery listings. Also, ever since I began regularly visiting galleries I've been uncomfortable with the fact that some only show photography, while others show everything but photography. While it survives in some quarters, the distinction has gradually dissolved over the years as even smaller and less nimble imaginations within the wider world of monied art [shopkeepers and hoarders] have had to come to terms with the fact the artists themselves have increasingly refused to have their work pigeonholed.

Pierson of course should not be described as a "photographer", and he never could be. Actually, in 1992, when I first saw his work it was in Tom Cuglioni's SOHO gallery and there wasn't a photograph in sight. Instead I saw just a breathtaking, but incredibly casual installation of a lot of hand-written notes (mostly to self) on white paper.* They expressed, individually or collectively, what appeared to be the lovesick (sexsick?) longings of an artist who seemed to know some of my own private obsessions very well.

He still does.

Anyway, it's a great show and you still have until the end of this month to see it.

I couldn't find texts or images from the 1992 show, but see Alison Jacques Gallery for examples of relatively recent word drawings by perhaps a more grownup [and more cynical?] Pierson

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Published on January 3, 2006 1:42 PM.

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