John Phillip Abbott at Pierogi

On Any Sunday
Gallery 1
8 January – 7 February, 2016
Opening Reception:
Friday, 8 January. 7-9pm

Press Release

Pierogi is pleased to present John Phillip Abbot’s paintings as one of two final exhibitions at our Williamsburg location. This exhibition will include recent paintings. The title of this exhibition, On Any Sunday, references the personal nature of the words that Abbott includes in his text-based paintings, and is the title of a mid-1970s documentary film on motorcycle culture that Abbott’s father had a cameo role in.

“The words come from memories and personal experiences. Painting words or names that I have a connection with allows me to draw from entire blocks of time associated with that word or name, and to arrive at informed formal decisions. If I paint words…without any association whatsoever, the images feel contrived. The choice of words comes down to personal and formal associations. The words are also ambiguous enough to suggest alternate meetings and are not bogged down, or defined, by only my experiences.” (Abbott)

Abbott also grew up as an avid soccer fan and player. The number 10 is historically significant in soccer and the reason that Abbott includes the number “10” in several paintings in this exhibition. This is the “…number given to the player who embodies creativity, flamboyance, imagination and inspiration through their play. …[T]he ‘number 10’ is embedded in our footballing history, due to the success and level of performance achieved by those who have worn it.” (J. Boyle)

Abbott works primarily with spray paint, taping and masking off areas, to create the text line work. “I’m striving for an economical and direct image and spray paint offers a way to achieve both, simultaneously. With spray paint, I don’t feel in control as much. I enjoy interesting accidents, such as the paint bleed that occurs under some taped edges. Sometimes I’ll use a brush and acrylic in areas as a counterpoint to the mechanical uniformity of a spray painted surface. I am interested in having a connection to the historical use of the grid. Letters make direct connections to verticals, and horizontals, and in some cases diagonals, as is the case with the letter “k,” for example. Other shapes and lines can be layered on, and within, words in each painting. Layers of all of these elements allows for figure and ground play, resulting in the melding of image and text; reading and seeing.” (Abbott)

John Phillip Abbott was born in Wisconsin in 1975 and currently lives and works in Silver City, New Mexico. He studied at the Santa Reparata School of Art in Florence, Italy and received an M.F.A. from the University of Wisconsin. His work has been included in exhibitions in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Geneva, Berlin, Paris, and elsewhere. This will be his first solo exhibition in New York.