David Pappaceno "Voice, Practice and Memory"

Work Gallery

poster for David Pappaceno "Voice, Practice and Memory"

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Work gallery presents Voice, Practice, and Memory, an exhibition of four new paintings from Brooklyn-based artist, David Pappaceno. This exhibition brings together philosopher and first time curator Jack Woods with Pappaceno. The exhibition culminates in an artist/curator talk on Sunday, 17 April where Woods and Pappaceno will discuss artistic and philosophical aspects of the work.

Pappaceno’s paintings put contrasts in perspective. The viewer is jarred by collages of appropriated images which on closer inspection reveal images made solely of paint. Sharp geometrical forms, landscapes, city scenes, and bright patterns compose in a way which defies facile interpretation. Disparate elements meld into a whole while demanding that we take each element as a comment on the others. “1730” sets a tranquil depiction of a regatta by Canalleto against the momentous events which took place in that year: an earthquake, the death of a pope, the founding of a major city, the outlawing of sodomy. ”A Cock Crowing” gives a foreshortened spectrum of perspectives on women. The grotesque but still somewhat alluring fertility idol dominates smaller women in more overtly sexual roles and draws the gaze of the onlooking men. ”The Bluest Blue” addresses the tension between work relationships and the environment which forges them. Cartoonish representations of the work clash with realistic portraits of his coworkers. ”Daughters of Zeus” further explores the themes of ”A Cock Crowing” by displaying the abyss between the docile grotesqueness of the fertility idol and the aggressive sexuality of de Kooning’s women. Both equally attractive and repulsive, we’re pushed and pulled first to one, then the other conception, and back again, and only gradually become aware of Pappaceno’s subtle play with our fragmented desires.

We’re easily seduced into thinking that the world as it appears is the world as it is. Pappaceno does not fall victim to this blinkered conception of our involvement in our perspectives. His paintings voice a deep concern with the malleability of our viewpoint and a recognition of how easily our opinions are manipulated by contingent features of our environment. ”A Cock Crowing”, for example, was partially inspired by recent psychological studies which demonstrated that men prefer heftier and more stereotypically domestic women when they’re hungry. His use of primitive fertility images is inspired by a recognition that these are not faithful representations of the women of the time. They are rather exaggerated caricatures cooked up out of some unconscious desire. With elegance and wit, Pappaceno amplifies the familiar suggestion that we not overlook our involvement in the way we view the world into a demand that we cannot ignore.

About the Curator: Jack Woods is a PhD candidate at Princeton University. His primary research interests are in the philosophy of logic, especially truth and the role of logic in regulating theory. He has written on moral and aesthetic language, logical truth, and knowledge. He has a special interest in the differences or lack thereof between aesthetic, moral, and scientific facts.



from April 15, 2011 to May 05, 2011
Artist Talk April 17th at 6 pm

Opening Reception on 2011-04-15 from 18:00 to 20:00


David Pappaceno

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