We are pleased to present Patrick Jacobs’ third one-person exhibition at Pierogi, taking its title – “Come Closer to Me” – from Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, and featuring sculpture, printmaking, and a room-sized installation. Jacobs investigates space, scale, and perception of reality, while working across media. Drawing inspiration from nature, historical landscape painting, popular home and garden culture, and the supernatural, he sets up contexts with inherent internal contradictions.
A conflicting atmosphere of bliss and discontentment reigns in the empire of weeds. “Behold these spiny stalks and toothy leaves,” declare the herbaceous brood in a post-emergent flamboyance, “Look on our caps and laurel crowns of seeds!” But the longing for love and happiness comingles with an unbearable anxiety and fear of loneliness. Fibrous tissues, cords and membranes swell with perverse desires while tendrils, felted pink with webbed mycelia ache for meaningful intimacy. All that remains is an impenetrable and melancholy silence. –Jacobs, 2014
Black and white prints of fungal rings found in grass lawns are displayed in the gallery’s front space. Employing the traditional copper plate etching process over the past year and a half, in collaboration with master printer, Dan Waller, Jacobs has carefully rendered some, while allowing others to evolve through chance or accident. Consisting of quivering lines and dots and subtle tonal variations, many evoke microbial structures or nebulous clouds of cosmic dust.
In the main gallery, slime molds, dandelions, stinkhorns, and a pink forest count among the subjects observed through small circular windows of warped glass embedded in the gallery’s walls. Depicted in miniature dioramas, they are both a part of and at odds with their meticulously constructed surroundings.
A stretched and compressed view of the artist’s Brooklyn apartment dominates the rear space of the gallery, morphing the real and the imaginary. Gallery walls are partially torn away to reveal multiple vantage points, fracturing the pictorial plane. A bay of windows provides a fictional bird’s eye-view of an idealized, although improbably foreshortened and attenuated, Gowanus Heights. Constructed from disparate materials including lichen, industrial expansion foam, paper maché, cardboard, glue, and paint, this installation works to expose the recesses of the subconscious mind, as well as the hopes and desires lying just beyond our grasp.
Of this work, Gregory Volk writes, “…[c]onflating inside and outside space, nearness and distances, architecture and nature, a domestic setting and the vast world, contemporaneity and an immense scale of time, this is a risky, breathtaking work, and the apartment seems like a time-travelling capsule of sorts, visiting ‘remote pasts’ as Robert Smithson once wrote, and also, perhaps, ‘remote futures’ long after this current city has changed.”
Patrick Jacobs’ work has been included in numerous exhibitions including “Journey Forth: Contemporary Landscape Between Technology and Tradition” (Museum of Art and History, Santa Cruz, CA); “American Dreamers: Facing or Escaping Reality in Contemporary Art” (Centro di Cultura Contemporanea Strozzina, Florence, Italy); and “Otherworldy: Optical Delusions and Small Realities” (Museum of Arts and Design, NY, NY). He has received awards and residencies from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Vermont Studio Center, New York Foundation for the Arts, and Bad Wiesse. He received an MFA from the Art Institute of Chicago and studied at the University of Klagenfurt, Austria.