Some Walls is pleased to present "Drawings from the Series: The Mequite Drawings" by New York artist Paul Pagk April 9, 2010 – May 29, 2010.
At Paul Pagk’s New York studio in September 2010 we spent a good amount of time looking at and talking about several large, complex, impressive paintings. It was a wonderful visit. Shortly before I left he began pulling out boxes, stacks, and piles of drawings in various media and different sizes; it was an amazing sight. Among these were The Mesquite Drawings, about which Pagk says, "I made these drawings and others in two drawing pads during and after my visit to Marfa and the Chinati Mountains." From this visit a plan was hatched to bring a selection of Pagk’s drawings to Some Walls in Oakland.
Eighteen drawings are hung close together in a three-row, six-column grid. Each are 14 x 17 inches, made with graphite, crayon, oil pastel, and watercolor. These drawings not only demonstrate how Pagk thinks through and develops motifs for his painting, but also deserve examination and appreciation as finished works themselves. Line and form move between architectural and organic, emanating light and air. His imaginative structures and varied spaces tweak perspective and hint at intimate and surreal experience. They bring to mind Bachelard’s favorite images in The Poetics of Space—houses, cellars, huts, drawers, nests, corners, and human bodies—and we how subjectively experience these spaces. Joan Ockman says in her review of Bachelard’s book, "…space is the abode of human consciousness." Bachelard writes, "I should say: the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace."
"I don't really understand why I feel as a stranger in my own town. Although it's not surprising since the city develops in a way that gives these feelings. The city never was and wouldn't be a place of eternity. The city changes all the time, leaves traces in photos, documents and maps. The events of the past are recorded in books and movies. The city exists in a narrative media such as paintings, sculpture, theatre, literature and poetry.
The signs that are left in the city by an unknown person or by hidden events make me to fantasize. Before I became a daydreamer, I realized that I'm walking in the streets and the squares of the city as a routine act of domestic life. The movement in this occasion is functional; navigated by precise and defined order. In the opposite, I can find myself walking in the city without any purpose or definite aim. I walk without giving any attention to my location and the name of the streets or the district. The time in this kind of movement count differently, compared to the usual time that is measured by distance and number of streets that I pasted by.
This wondering gives me the sensation that I don't recognize my own town. In this situation I observe the soundings before I pay attention to meanings and the significance of the architecture of the place. The experience of alienation happens suddenly and provokes bodily feelings of hot and cold temperature at the same time. The alienation gets to my body and creates a different way of perceiving the surroundings. The senses act in very strange way. When I am in this condition, I direct a glance to the environment that is coming out of my body and gets back from the target, in to my consciousness; very fast. My gaze is soaked with thinking, inquiry and fantasy. It's an emotional and senses reaction which connects the perception that resulted from the movement, the gaze and the body. The alienation has its own sound and voice. "The sound of the alienation" - is emphasized beyond the resonance of every day life's sound. It's a different off-key sound that heard better in the edge of the city.
As I move in the city streets I see inhibits busy with their regular actives. They have different slowly static movements, which can be measured. My surveillance after inhibits of the city allowed me to get inside their interior spaces in stores and apartments. The resident takes me through corridors and passageways to see how they defined there spaces with objects. The measurements and shapes of the spaces are varied - from wide and low to narrow and high. The activity in the spaces is particular to inhibits in their rooms and their building. The activity, for example, is fixing, cooking, bathing or cleaning, actions that provoke a body posture in each act. The body posture can be sitting, standing or bent over.
I have a special intimate connection to the city despite the alienation feelings. I feel empathy with the crowed people on the streets; despite the fact that they don't have eye contact with each other. The city offers a dense and compressed condition that influences the human behavior. The resident influences the city by his activity and personality. He builds the surroundings with his open mind or by his hidden subconscious. The architecture of the city came about by conflicts between laws, noise, silence, desire, intent, wish, traffic and other contradictions. The conflict in the city invites improvisation and unique solutions that came out from the residents mind."
Towards the end of his life, avant garde composer John Cage turned to visual art, using the same methods of random composition for his drawings and prints he used for his music. The results are strangely serene
Al Taylor by Charles Yoder Define "artist". There are many stories in a man’s life. Al Taylor’s life is no different. There is the story of his conception on a Greyhound bus. There is the mystery of his Native American blood. There is the one about his abduction by gypsies as a child. Then there is the tale of the All Kansas Long Distance Running champion from Wichita who transformed himself into the New York City artist. But the story I’m telling here is about Al Taylor’s stay in Hawaii in the late summer and fall months of 1987. He and I were part of a crew of about fifty artists from all over the states who had been hired to install a lot of really bad art in some newly constructed Japanese-owned hotels on Maui. There was a tight schedule and a looming deadline. All of us were put up in time share, beach front condos and worked 12 to 14 hour days, six days a week. The sunrise to sunset routine was numbing. In a short while, there was nothing other than get up, go to work, come back, go to bed, get up, etc. You get the picture. read more http://www.zwirnerandwirth.com