Jack Pierson uses photography, drawing and sculpture to explore the complex emotional narratives surrounding historic and contemporary icons and iconography, and often creates work that can be read as a melancholic hymn to the subject of art and creation, fame, immortality and the passage of time. Delving into his own subconscious, the ideas and references explored in his work are deeply personal and spring from the artist’s inner intellectual and emotional world. Yet Pierson succeeds in transforming these private impulses into works of art that are, on the one hand, rooted in time and yet, on the other hand, seem to transcend it. His word sculptures are constructed from found objects – mismatched letters salvaged from junkyards, old movie marquees, roadside diners, Las Vegas casinos, and other abandoned enterprises. The letters are either arranged in abstract groupings, or combined to create individual words or phrases, and evoke a multiplicity of meanings. Pierson’s photographs and drawings also share a similar sense of specificity and plurality. The beauty of his work lies in its openness – each viewer brings his own interpretation to the work, one that is generated by their own memories and desire.
Jack Pierson (b. 1960, Plymouth, MA) lives and works in New York and Southern California. A retrospective exhibition of his work was held at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, in 2008. Other solo exhibitions include the CAC, Malaga, Spain (2009), the Centre d’Art Santa Monica, Barcelona (2007) and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami (2002).
8 June—28 June 2016
Ullens Center of Contemporary Art, Beijing, China
12 March—11 July 2016
The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Los Angeles, CA, USA
27 February—9 October 2016
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN, USA