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'Floor Paintings, Chair Paintings' by Nick Perr at Jargon Projects, Chicago

Jargon Projects is proud to present Floor Paintings, Chair Paintings by Nick Perr. This will be Perr’s first exhibition with the gallery, and the first presentation of work in our new space located at 3310 N Milwaukee Ave, Suite 202 in Chicago. 

For this exhibition Perr has created a new series of paintings in his typically fluid and unrestrained manner, this time turning his attention to ordinary and functional household objects and surfaces. As researcher and curator India Cawley-Gelling has noted, “Perr playfully transforms the gallery walls into a panoramic view of the floor. In this body of work Perr challenges how the mechanics of picture hanging shape the act of looking. Each canvas shows a motif of his home’s uniform wooden floorboards, dispersed with interior chairs. Painted from a birds-eye perspective, the works engulf the viewer, turning Perr’s home into a decorative pattern. Epic in scale, but modest in subject matter, the paintings subtly question the act of placement, transforming something you stand on into something you admire.” 

This shift in perspective disrupts not only the viewer’s gaze, but also the depicted objects themselves. The floorboards, along with the chairs that are meant to cling to them, have shaken loose from their gravitational ties and found a new sense of weight on the gallery walls. However, despite their unusual new position, these objects still desire rationality, a return to their lowest potential energy. 

Here, Perr’s preoccupation with materiality is conceptually recharged as the sticky, frozen streams of enamel paint seek out a path back towards the ground. Just as the painted surface seems to slip off of the canvas, so too do the paintings themselves slip from realistic, still life representation into the realm of abstraction. The oil-based enamel he uses in these works were originally intended for sign painting, a trade usually concerned with fine line precision and legibility. However, instead of taking up the role of draftsman, Perr lets the natural, unthinned viscosity of his material dictate the frenetic yet pared-down form of the works. 

While Perr’s surfaces and compositions are thoughtfully considered and uniquely constructed, his subjects are never treated quite so preciously. Their newfound scale and placement on the wall demand your attention and a reconsideration of both their practical utility and formal characteristics, but their grimy reproduction creates a tension between care and disuse, appreciation and oversight. 

11.3.22 — 17.4.22

Jargon Projects

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