James Perrin at Tinney Contemporary, Nashville

James Perrin, Colossus after Goya , 2014, oil and acrylic resin on linen, 80 in x 96.
James Perrin, Colossus after Goya, 2014; oil and acrylic resin on linen, 80 by 96 inches.

Dynamic and demanding, the large canvases on view in James Perrin’s Observations, Integrations, Pareidolia, and Polysemy have a presence and energy that fill the front room of Tinney Contemporary. Perrin engages a visual vocabulary that manages to evoke elements of futuristic singularity while still deeply rooted in art history traditions and aesthetics, making the works feel closely familiar and yet omnipotently alien.

At their most fundamental, the paintings explore formalist concepts of paint as language, deconstructing representation through a process of pushing, pulling, shredding, and stacking. His canvases become massive cathedrals of paint: elevating the appearance of airy, intuitive line amid a chaos of light, but structurally undergirded with studied intent and deliberate accumulations of material.

Not to be missed are Perrin’s Walmart Studies, a series of smaller paintings whose clean frames and intimate scale are a dramatic juxtaposition to his larger canvases. Perrin’s dedication to the physicality of paint continues in layers of heavily clumped paint—debris scraped from his palettes—on top of recognizable retail interiors painted from photographs taken in Walmart stores. The accumulation creates a sense of chronological as well as chromatic density. The surface reads as different moments of time simultaneously expressed on a single surface, giving the otherwise static, universally sterile scenes of Walmart a sense of frenetic motion and turmoil.

“Observations, Integrations, Pareidolia, and Polysemy” is on view through September 26 at Tinney Contemporary in Nashville.

M Kelley is a Nashville-based creative, an advocate for dialogue in contemporary art, an active contributor to a variety of diverse publications and arts initiatives. Kelley curates for the project space 40AU and the collective HAUS Rotations. Hir social practice revolves around a fascination with the complexities of communication and narrative; providing educational and developmental opportunities;  and inviting others into collaboration through studiOmnivorous.com.

James Perrin, Work from Observations, Integrations, Pareidolia, and Polysemy , Tinney Contemporary.
James Perrin, from the Walmart Studies, at Tinney Contemporary.
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