Paul Wacker's The Space We Take in Juxtapoz

Evan Pricco, Juxtapoz, June 15, 2021

Paul Wackers paints the fantasy worlds I want to live in. His still-lifes are teeming with abundance and growth, plants and domestic life, abstraction and compartmentalizing figuration. He's explored these territories in the past, but his newest solo show, The Space We Take, on view now at Eleanor Harwood in San Francisco, feel especially like paintings that are lived in, full of thought and drifting dreams and a bit of pandemic static. 

As the gallery notes, "These paintings come from the end of the social spectrum populated with few other people. The painting The Space We Take has two plants growing side-by-side, situated in an alcove. They jockey for space, and somehow still thrive, not in the ground in soil, but grow in pots dependent on someone to water them." That is a wonderful way to describe these works; a jockey for space, and encroachment of density. That is what the pandemic did to our personal life and personal space. We felt an encroachment of time. And then, time also didn't mean anything at all. These are the works of a painter who has processed space in a special way, who always thought of interiors as alive and now got to spend even more time debating and analyzing.