Lesley Heller is proud to present a solo exhibition of recent collage works by Paul Loughney in the Project Space. In this body of work, Loughney culls images from contemporary magazines—a source material he approaches as an anthropological document—and transforms through cut patterning, design, and layering into complex compositions of distorted fragments. “My intention is to create a sense of mystery or otherworldliness.” Loughney states. This manifests into abstract works consisting of layered imagery—that make use of repeated pattern and form—resulting in colorfully dynamic compositions set against a dark background.
Loughney, who began his artistic career in printmaking and painting states that “Collage was a surprise, certainly an unanticipated venture, but it became the perfect medium.” The images he had once saved solely as reference material became the main subjects of his works. Not limited by the small scale of his source imagery though, Loughney is able to piece together works that defy the scale of his materials. For Confetti of the Mind, he has created a mural-size collage installation that mirrors the backgrounds in the smaller-scale framed collages and serves as a backdrop which the show is directly installed on.
Of his process Loughney states, “Excavation starts by cutting, removing, and categorizing the imagery by subject: male, female, fashion, beauty, personal and household products—all idealized to suggest perfection. I then remove the image from its context, re-shape it, combine it with related or non-related material, and create a visual that now has a life of its own.”
The final images are suggestive of an abstracted human form with geometric patterning and create a mixed-perspective reminiscent of a fractured fun house reflection.
The result is a new narrative, one that poses rather than answers questions. It is one of distorted familiarity, where the viewer might identity fragments but is left to assemble the parts into coherency. A confetti of images pieced together to form parts of a story that is not yet written.
Paul Loughney (b.1972, Dover, NJ) received his MFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University (2006) and a certificate in Printmaking from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (1997). He has participated in solo and group shows nationally and internationally including at Peter Freeman, Inc, New York, NY; Frosch & Portmann Gallery, New York, NY; La Fratirnidad, Mexico City, MX; Borowsky Gallery, Philadelphia, PA; Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond, GA; Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, Santa Ana, CA; Kunsthochschule fur Medien, Cologne, Germany; and Subspace Gallery in Berlin. His work can be found in the permanent collection of Nobel Collection in Zurich; Purdue University, Indiana; Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Museum, Rutgers University, NJ; New York Public Library; and the Brodsky Center at The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.