Critics’ Picks

View of “Frame, Fold, Fracture,” 2013.


Philomene Pirecki

Green On Red Gallery
Park Lane, Spencer Dock
April 18–May 25

Suspended between the original and its copy, the process of making and the act of showing, Philomene Pirecki’s “Frame, Fold, Fracture” sheds significant light on the ways in which an exhibition offers a momentary stasis within an artist’s cycle of production. Employing a precise economy of means, Pirecki calls attention to how the specificity of a gallery, contingencies of display, and the handling of an artwork can affect its materialization.

A series of seven drawings, “Agent (Mailed from Cambridge and London to Dublin, Weeks 1-7),” 2012–, are installed near the entrance to the show. These works, each made of a sheet of A4 plain white paper taped to carbon copy paper, are being mailed from the gallery to the artist in London and back again over the course of the exhibition. Upon return to Dublin, the drawings are unfolded and pinned directly to the wall. Adjacent is “White Wall,” 2013, a large wall that have been daubed with colorful swaths of paint. This series begins with digital photographs of the gallery and of Pirecki’s studio walls. The photographs are magnified to reveal imperfections and discolorations in the digital file; these are then used as samples to produce custom-mixed emulsion paints, which the artist applies to the original wall. In a cumulative process, Pirecki then places discrete works—one of the “Agents,” posters, photographs and a white monochrome painting—over the painted wall. The result is an overlapping of separate bodies of work, as well as an ongoing assemblage that is constantly remade, rephotographed, and redisplayed—stretching the boundary between an artwork’s making and its undoing.

The series “Reflecting,” 2013, like the wall works, is based on an initial catalyst—a photograph that the artist rephotographed prior to exhibiting. Each subsequent reproduction of the photograph constitutes a new iteration—or, to use Pirecki’s term, “generation”—of the ongoing series. During the exhibition, Pirecki will rephotograph the work in the gallery space and then archive the resulting prints in her studio. On the next opportunity to exhibit, Pirecki will rephotograph this material, which is both a discrete work and the source of the next reproduction.