Morgan Lehman Gallery is pleased to present new large-scale oil paintings by Jeff Perrott. This will be the artist’s fifth solo exhibition with the gallery.
Over the years, Perrott has committed himself to exploring the possibilities of abstraction, interrogating its core tenets and material processes to reveal new and interesting ways of seeing. The works on view are part of an ongoing project that Perrott refers to as “Random Walks.” He explains, “the Random Walks question what I call the ‘will to power’ or ‘will to domination’ of abstract painting by redirecting my hand through the operation of chance: by forcing a negotiation with contingency. At the same time, as chance is choice, the process pushes through its own blindness to what I think of as a different sort of power, not so motivated by domination, but by curiosity with and participation in the thrownness of the situation.”
In this exhibition, richly textured black grounds take on prominent pictorial weight, thus subverting the traditional figure-ground relationship. Each painting presents a ground that is functionally chameleonic: simultaneously sheer depth, blind terrain, and a sort of embodied uncertainty. As one’s eyes adjust to close-value chromatic shifts on the surface of the paintings, high contrast marks give way to more complex, dark, sinewy tangles, with portions of the wandering lines receding into inky black.
The play among the hidden and revealed, the manifest and the underlying, when coupled with Perrott’s chance-based painterly operation, suggests the uncertain unfoldment of the everyday as well as an ostensibly darker contingency undergirding what is seen. Even within disappearance, the lines of color, and the paintings themselves, continue, joining themselves with that very uncertainty, invoking also: possibility.
Jeff Perrott earned his BA from Williams College, and his MFA from Yale School of Art (New Haven, CT). Perrott has exhibited at the Boston Center for the Arts (MA), Barbara Krakow Gallery (Boston, MA), Morgan Lehman Gallery (New York, NY), and LaMontagne Gallery (Boston, MA). He is the winner of the Eben Demerest Fellowship, and a nominee for the Foster Prize from the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. His work is featured in both corporate and museum collections such as the Wadsworth Atheneum (Hartford, CT); Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum (Lincoln, MA); the Whitney Museum of Art prints collection; Wellington Management; the Digitas Corporation; and KPFG San Francisco.