FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Enoc Perez: Digs
October 29–December 5, 2015
Opening reception: Thursday, October 29, 6–8PM
Koenig & Clinton is pleased to announce Digs, the gallery’s first solo exhibition of sculptures and paintings by Enoc Perez. On view in the main space is a selection of new cast-iron ‘swizzle stick’ sculptures and paintings that depict Minoru Yamasaki’s World Trade Center. Vivid paintings of vernacular homes in Puerto Rico populate the adjacent space. Together, all works emphasize the operations of history and memory as they relate to the legacies of optimism embodied by 20th century Modernist structures.
Dispersed throughout the floor, a group of Perez’s oxidized iron sculptures are planted atop concrete bases. Inspired by the artist’s personal collection of swizzle sticks from iconic hotels, each elongated work is an assemblage of fragmented drink stirrers from tropical mid-century establishments, such as the Caribe Hilton (San Juan) or the Americana (New York). Approaching sculpture with a painter’s sensibility, Perez initiates his process with 3-dimensional scans of the actual sticks, which he then fractures, collages, forges and casts into a final cobbled form. The sculpture’s namesakes remain visible along the edges, with each hotel’s logo and insignia ossified in relief. Their titles meld colonial and jet-set fantasies while their rusted, mangled forms parallel the varied outcomes of bygone aspirations.
In the same room, a monumental, bright, and colorful close-up view of the Twin Towers occupies an entire gallery wall. This painting offers a unique portrait of the dual monoliths that once anchored Lower Manhattan’s skyline—the images of which remain markers of one of the most tragic events in U.S. history. In an adjacent room, a group of intimately scaled paintings present images of diminutive domiciles in Puerto Rico. The ‘casitas’ featured range between the 19th–21st centuries and include agrarian workers’ huts as well as 20th century pre-fab constructions.
To produce these paintings, Perez employs printmaking techniques to transfer multiple layers of paint from paper onto canvas, burnishing each surface with a small apparatus (such as a pencil) or his hand. The result of this process – misaligned images of buildings that fail to produce a photographic likeness – heightens the psychological impact of the artist’s vocabulary. The viewer is left with a mere impression, the specter of a place or souvenir or symbol, a subjective recollection that remains unresolved.
This exhibition coincides with Perez’s One World Trade Center exhibition at Peter Blum Gallery, New York.
Enoc Perez (b. 1967, San Juan, Puerto Rico) received his B.F.A from Pratt Institute and received his M.F.A in Fine Art from Hunter College. Along with his current exhibition at The Philip Johnson Glass House, New Canaan, CT (2015), Perez recently had solo exhibitions at Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris (2015); Thomas Ammann Fine Arts, Zürich (2014); Acquavella Galleries, New York (2013). His work is included in the permanent collections of the Corcoran Art Gallery, Washington D.C.; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Hammer Museum, University of California, Los Angeles; and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among others. The artist lives and works in New York.
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