Eleanor Harwood Gallery is thrilled to present Atmospheres and Environments, our sixth solo show with Paul Wackers. With every show Paul’s painting techniques become more varied and refined. One of the great pleasures in viewing his work in person is the incredibly adept way he allows area of chaos and experimentation to exist within a work while maintaining control with a variety of masking technique and compositional choices. In particular the painting named Atmospheres and Environments spans fourteen feet and shows Wackers at his best. A lexicon of shapes reappear throughout his work.
In the largest work in the show “Atmospheres and Environments”, Paul knits together the various vocabularies of different bodies of work into a beautiful fourteen foot painting. While he has made works this large before it’s his first canvas that is divided into panels.
The theme that runs throughout the works in the show is the pleasure of possession we take in gathering and collecting objects. Wackers’ more complex and large scale cabinet/bookcase paintings fit into a long history of artists documenting the collection of objects. There is an interesting body of work emerging in late 18th century Korea of Chaekgeori paintings. These paintings depict the books and objects of an intellectual. While these are not direct influences in Wackers’ work, the fascinating urge to collect and then to document the collection is a very innate human drive. Artists have catalogs specimens with for science and for pleasure for centuries. Wackers’ works divert from Chaekgeori paintings and botanical and naturalist illustrations with him frequently adding in objects that are abstract, and/or imaginary. For him the paintings catalog sensations and memories as much as objects.