Original article, published in French in May 2016 on Emporium’s.com
Read our translation of the article here; translated by Camila McHugh:
At the end of last year end we had the pleasure of interviewing Paul Wackers (read that conversation here.) He told us he would be taking a short break from exhibitions and we made an appointment to meet in May at the Eleanor Harwood gallery. That time has come and here we are at the Minnesota Street Project, a large building full of galleries, including that of Eleanor Harwood, where Paul Wackers presents his new exhibition, Slow Wave.
Although Paul took a short break from exhibitions, he did not stop painting, as is evident in the more than fifteen large pieces on display here. These new works build upon those we saw at the Alice Gallery last October. While we recognize certain places, certain shelves and windows, the artist tells us new stories here with a language of objects at once ordinary and surreal. Once again, one can’t help but marvel at the rendering of these objects. Paul Wackers is an alchemist of painting: always with the same base of acrylic paint, he manages to create novel material and texture. Of course we must not forget the plants, which play as big a role as ever in his work.
While Paul has continued to explore the themes that informed his prior work, we find that these works has also grown in complexity, with superimposed structures that become increasingly numerous. Some paintings become labyrinths with detours that drive towards different visual and emotional experiences. In other paintings, the artist plays with an increasingly elusive sense of perspective, pushing further into a territory between the real and surreal in which he immerses the viewer.
The pieces presented here also immerse the viewer in the intimate world of Paul Wackers. First because he paints the space in which he lives and works, notably his studio where he collects these objects and plants. But it is also because these spaces are painted as the artist feels them, with the energy and vibration that arises from the interaction of the elements they contain. In Slow Wave, the artist has gone even further to create an immersive environment — an installation of shelves that house the vases and strange sculptures that inhabit his paintings surrounds the viewer. Like the installation for his exhibition last year, Thank You for Being, Paul Wackers has created a series of ceramics of the objects found in his paintings. This time he also created the shelves and even the workbench to accompany them. In this way, one feels transported to his workshop, to the core of his creative process in a way that feeds on itself. The exhibition runs through June 11, but if you’re unable to make the trip, we offer you a little recap of photos to see these beautiful new paintings a bit more closely.