For his third solo show at Monya Rowe Gallery, Joe Pflieger will exhibit a series of photographs that will occupy both the ground floor and the basement level of the gallery.
In the main space, Pflieger presents a small suite of photographs depicting intimate formal arrangements of hi-tech engine models taken at an auto show in Washington D.C. Continuing his exploration with the themes surrounding Americana, Pflieger hones in on the American male psyche and the underpinnings of the American Dream.
“Volvo Turbo” (2014) delves into the masculinity surrounding car culture by idealizing a turbo engine as a formal “portrait” taking on an anthropomorphic presence. Pflieger suggests that restaging familiar objects creates a certain charge. All the works in Manifest offer just enough information to allow for a sense of familiarity. However, the focus lies on a sense of displacement and what is missing from the frame. “Red Cadillac” (2014), a detail of a Cadillac engine turned red in photoshop, is inherently akin to an abstract painting.
Upon entering the basement level of the gallery, the viewer is confronted with a shift in perspective and subject, where the imagery is culled from trips to Death Valley and the Fort Worth Water Gardens designed by Philip Johnson. The immersive environment of the basement will emphasize the physical experience of these locations. Pflieger’s use of place and object as signifiers of violence, wealth and ego evokes curiosity and examination. “Luxor” (2014), an image taken at the Fort Worth Water Gardens, is transformed into a formal composition with echoes of geometric patterns and painterly concerns. There’s an air of detachment and coolness that makes it difficult to discern if the artist is enamored or repulsed by his subjects.
Joe Pflieger received a MFA in Art Theory and Practice from Northwestern University, Evanston, IL and a BFA in Painting and Printmaking from University of Wisconsin, Madison. His work has recently been exhibited in a solo exhibition at PLHK Gallery, Chicago, IL and in group exhibitions at Monya Rowe Gallery, The Green Gallery, Milwaukee, WI and a two-person exhibition at Andrew Rafacz Gallery, Chicago, IL. Pflieger lives in Hoboken, NJ and works in New York City.