Reed Anderson at Pierogi

“Days Calling Nights”
Exhibition Dates: 24 February – 25 March, 2018
Opening Reception:
Sunday, 25 February. 6-8pm

Press Release

Pierogi is pleased to present “Days Calling Nights,” an exhibition of recent work by Reed Anderson. This will be Anderson’s fifth solo show at Pierogi. The exhibition will feature work from three distinct series including new large-scale minimalist paintings sewn from ripstop nylon, intricate cut-paper paintings, and his ongoing “Papa Object” series. This will be the first exhibition with Pierogi since his move to the Berkshires.

Anderson’s new paintings are minimal geometric abstractions that hang loosely against the wall from hook and pole. While the sewn nylon, dynamic color pairings, and bold compositions are a clear nod to banners or flags they are not singular in their meaning and function as both painting and inherent political object.

Flags can be exclusive, in the nature of nationalism, patriotism and team spirit; they can also be about identity, communication, celebration, and heraldry. “As an artist you’re often on the outside, creating a kind of flag of yourself. Each artwork is a representation of the individual artist and can be seen as an act of independence or rebellion. I see these new paintings as an opening to a conversation about who we are, rather than a closing of a door.”

“When I was younger growing up in Canada I was a ski racer… I also loved sailing. The flashy graphics of the 80’s was all over this stuff and I loved the colors and forms. They felt new and fresh. Seeing spinnaker sails moving across the water always looked more like paintings in motion. About eight years ago my friend was teaching sailing at a boat club in Canada where I had sailed. I asked about old spinnaker sails, and at the end of the summer she showed up with a bag of beautiful, dirty, ripped used sails. I started working with them then as a kind of side-project, but it didn’t come together until a year ago. The resulting work acknowledges a simplicity of form that was contained within my other work and now has a voice of its own.”

Anderson’s large cut paper work is now mounted to canvas, creating a color layer through holes and textures. What has always been rich and ethereal now engages in deeper vibrations of color juxtaposition on canvas.

Anderson attributes some of his exuberant color sense to Julian Stanczak (a former teacher in Cleveland and a life-long mentor), as well as to growing up in the 1980s, with all of the wild and garish colors and graphics prevalent during that time period. Reebok, track suits, Atari, video games, sports like skiing and sailing, and an exposure to fine art all contribute to his wild use of color. “It was Stanczak who made me realize that there were interactions of color that went beyond our physical world.”

His work acknowledges contemporaries such as Chris Martin, Chris Ofili, Peter Halley, as well as earlier artists like Blinky Palermo. When he first moved to New York City, Anderson worked with Peter Halley for a year. “There’s an element of these new pieces that’s influenced by this early period in NYC …perhaps the scale of what color can be. At the time the enthusiasm of my youth blinded me to the possibilities of such simplicity. I believe that it’s since moving to the country, and having a greater sense of space that I’ve come to appreciate and embrace it.”

The “Papa Object” pieces begin with large format printed images of objects (furniture, objets d’art, indigenous masks, etc…) taken from various auction catalogues. These images are painted and printed upon with rudimentary wood blocks. “I grew up in a house full of objects and art and I see these as a kind of object-poster, re-representing the things from the auction market the way a supermarket would with their daily deals and specials. These objects are things familiar to me, but long gone. It’s a way of taking them back.”

“An object cheerfully destroyed—stamped, annotated, redacted, tagged, stepped on. Further: an object first shot and flattened and rasterized then stamped, annotated, redacted, tagged, stepped on. The object becomes another object; the object survives its cheerful destruction to become another object. The object is its own transitional object.” (Emily Hall on Anderson’s “Papa Object” series)

Anderson’s work is included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art (NYC), The Albright-Knox Gallery (Buffalo, NY), and numerous private collections including Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (Austria), Olbricht Collection (Essen, Germany), and the West Collection (Philadelphia, PA). He holds degrees from Stanford University and San Francisco Art Institute.