"Certain words aren't good when you describe an artwork - like 'sentimental', 'romantic', 'poetic' and 'pretty'. But those are my favourite qualities of anything." - Jack Pierson
Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac is pleased to present a selection of recent works by American artist Jack Pierson. He has been in Paris for the past weeks to work on his fifth solo show at our gallery.
Pierson's practice embodies an array of media spanning from wall-drawings, word-pieces, installations, drawings, paintings and photographs.
For this exhibition, he has chosen to show a series of nine ink drawings of Roman Emperor, Hadrian's lover, the young and beautiful Antinous, after whom Hadrian named the Egyptian city of Antinopolis and had several statues made of his effigy, deifying this Greek youth who mysteriously drowned in the Nile.
Pierson has completed two word-pieces, one of which spells out "Golden Years," maybe referring to a song written by David Bowie in 1975, a 1990's American TV series or the time in one's life after retirement. We also discover Pierson's pencil drawings of his previous word-pieces, in which we can read words such as "truth," "glory" or "my sin." In a way, Pierson is an archaeologist of life, past and present, in which every one of his works tells a story of love, desire, loss, hope and loneliness.
In conjunction to these works, he has worked on a series of large-format drawings on rough canvas, in which Pola Negri, the femme fatale of 1920s and 30s silent movies, is the protagonist. Pierson is interested in her darkness and the personae of the actress for whom the barrier between the public realm and the private sphere was practically inexistent.
Jack Pierson was born in 1960 in Plymouth, Massachusetts. While studying at the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, he became associated with a group of artists who would become known as the Boston School, of which Nan Goldin was also a central figure. Today Jack Pierson lives and works in both New York City and Southern California.