When everyone else was waiting on line to get into the Mark Ryden exhibit across the street, I was in the newest addition to the Paul Kasmin Gallery empire taking photos of Eric Parker’s latest show (and third solo-exhibition with the gallery), which had opened the previous night. Because timing is everything.
Erik Parker’s Undertow is an exhibition of new paintings which represent a confluence of ideas and styles explored in previous bodies of work including the Maps, Heads, Landscapes and Hieroglyphics. Parker’s iconic, highly-saturated palette and intricate compositions are amplified by collage and airbrush techniques that create a balance of density and open space.
Undertow offers insight into the evolution of Parker’s work over the last two decades. Here, the artist continues to critically chart the world’s current political, social, and economic landscapes with compositions brimming with references to media, popular culture, music, and art history. Synthesizing multiple elements from his myriad styles into new dynamic compositions, the artist works at breaking down the metanarratives of late modernist painting while simultaneously digesting the pictorial chatter of scrolling feeds of social media.
Highlighted in the exhibition are Parker’s new shaped canvases with which he develops the narrative possibilities of form. In Offshore the support structure of the canvas takes the shape of binocular lenses, framing the action as if seen from afar.
Parker’s large-scale, two-part shaped canvas titled Disconnected, features a Pyramid representing the global elite. The pyramid is physically separated from the second canvas – literally leaving the rest of the picture, or perhaps, society behind.
Erik Parker’s Undertow will be on Exhibit Through January 23rd, 2016 at Paul Kasmin Gallery, Located at 297 Tenth Avenue in the Chelsea Gallery. District.