Monday, February 20, 2006

Buildings Collapsing

Images of collapsing buildings seem indelibly etched into the American memory. After seeing those towers crumble, and the ensuing months of digging through rubble and dust, few of us can evade the assocation of 9/11 with any other ruined building. Jin Meyerson responds by depicting unsettled architectural structures.

Workers toil through mounds of debris. Standing buildings merge with scaffolding and skeletal frames. Loose sheets of paper drift midair. All this happens through a jarring filter of blurring and spinning (spin control?). In "Tower" (2005), a chorus of apparently indigenous people huddles beneath the surface. Are they survivors of the disaster? Mole people? Or are they the "inner layer" over which our culture has shaped its environment?

Architecural elements ground the pictures and engender great pictorial scale - it's like Gursky after vodka shots on your birthday. Looking carefully, one thinks of Neo Rauch, who often paints men at work, wielding shovels and axes in fragmented, personal spaces. Both Rauch and Meyerson use perspective to indicate depth, but toy with it to accomodate psychological divisions. We also see Daniel Richter-ian phosphorescent phigures. Gallery-mate Tom McGrath shares Meyerson's interest in distorted, blurred pictorial intervention. And Meyerson nods to Lee Bontecou, whose sculpture appears in "Tower."

Like Rosenquist, Meyerson acknowledges the seams of his photo-derived compositions. He slides with ease through a range of media and palettes and this show seems like a successful leap forward from his earlier tilt-a-whirl psychedelic paintings. His use of figures opens new doors and possibly invites him to the narrative painters' party.

Wow. Nice post! Thanks for the juxtaposition of images, would never have thought of Lee Bontecou in relation to Meyerson.
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