Nashville artist Casey Pierce is known for creating huge, hyper-realistic collage paintings featuring larger-than-life figures and vibrant, surreal pop culture motifs.
Driven in part by his own desire to take refuge in our image-saturated culture, his recent work has taken a difficult turn towards simplicity and restraint. “Architectureality,” his latest solo exhibition at the Red Arrow Gallery, features minimalist abstract paintings on shaped canvases that bridge painting and sculpture. There are no people and few colors, only single objects or geometric shapes, coldly shaping and holding spaces where viewers can, as he writes in his artist statement, “take a visual breath “.
Pierce spoke with The Tennessean about his recent work and his new exhibition, on view at the Red Arrow Gallery from September 8 through October 8. seven.
What inspired “architecture”?
I have focused more and more on shape and color over the past few years. I felt like I had something to prove with painting, like I always had to include my skills in realism. Now I feel free to paint according to my tastes.
I am also constantly inspired by scientific developments. In making the paintings, I think my interest in science and technology found its way into the work. Science makes things possible that make the world surreal, even alien, and art can do that in its own way.
The work explores imaginary and real restraint. What is the difference for you?
Most of my favorite artists have one thing in common. They distil their ideas to the essentials. Complexity disguised as simplicity. Like a Kubrick movie or an Eames chair. They all exercise restraint in order to create a structure on which they hang their ideas, and this imaginary structure then interacts in the real world.
What effect did you hope to create by shaping your canvases?
The works consist of creating and shaping space with an object. They are all image and object. I think when you’re with them, they draw equal attention to both, allowing people to switch between how they look at each piece from moment to moment. I’m also excited about great architecture and wanted to put that into the work. My dad always pushed me to be an architect and I lived on the architecture floor of my dorm my freshman year of college, but I discovered painting, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else there. era. I think you have to become obsessed with something to make progress.
Does your cinema influence your painting?
They are definitely playing against each other. If art had personality types I think music videos would be the extrovert with the gift of gossip and paintings and other art would be the introvert with lots of thoughts and ideas but no need for you talk about it right away.
What impact do you hope the show will have on viewers?
I guess I always hope that when someone is near my work, they feel like they’re somewhere interesting.
If you are going to
When: Sept. 8-Oct. seven
Where: Red Arrow Gallery, 919 Gallatin Ave.
Other: A reception will be held on opening night at 6 p.m. in collaboration with the East Side Art Stumble. There will also be a public discussion with Pierce about the show from 4-6 p.m. on September 29, moderated by art critic Joe Nolan.
After:The First Major Non-Objective Art Exhibit in Nashville Opens This Weekend