Chris Lipomi’s new works on paper continue his exploration of art’s double role as an agent of aesthetic and cultural valuation, and as a site for social interaction and integration. In 16 unique small-scale “drawings” created over the past two years, Lipomi combines photography—and, specifically found images from magazines and the internet—with images of railroad tie sculptures that he has created, alternately scanning and printing them onto other existing images or hotel stationery. He also adds his own drawing and painting—very often of these same railroad tie sculptures. The solid quasi-figurative / geometric pictograms of these sculptures maintain a sense of the familiar yet reflect a void. Their blackened out shapes are both placed on top of the imagery and are also simultaneously removed from it. By contextualizing his own “ready-made” sculptures, adding or subtracting their presence within his own works, Lipomi historicizes himself—with humor and irreverence—into a tradition of evolutionary criticism. Critic Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer has remarked that Lipomi's reference-rich practice “continually reinforces a belief that history has always already happened—or, put in other terms, that any proposed beginning is also a middle or end contextualized according to another vantage.”
Jason Sherry's collages and assemblages are carefully constructed from the precious detritus foraged from flea markets and second-hand stores. Sherry's work occupies an intangible dimension determined by pattern and repetition. He plots out photographic fragments in an absurd cartography of symbolic and personal meaning. The accumulation of objects and images repeat exponentially as if they are imploding into a humorous singularity—a reference to celestial mechanics—and shed light on the absurd, irrational, and unpredictable side of human nature. The characters that inhabit these works range from politicians and historical figures to Hollywood celebrities and Sears catalog models. They are treated with equal parts nostalgia and detachment as they are incised from their original context and reconfigured into richly layered works that deftly skewer history and contemporary society. Some images act as proxies for the artist, which occupy the symbolic depiction of the world that he seeks to understand and subvert. This is Jason Sherry’s third exhibition with Luis De Jesus.