2009 by Ken Weathersby
Pierogi Gallery, Brooklyn
Weathersby’s exhibition at Pierogogi is like tunneling through canvas, burrowing through the very platform a painting springs from. It is a series of canvases displayed both traditionally and back to front, holes cut in squares through stretched fabric to expose varying patterns and designs underneath. Texture and pattern are played with to contrast with the meticulous weave of the canvas; the interlocking designs are repetitive and intricate, often blurring the eyes if looked at too long. One canvas is even displayed with both ‘back’ and ‘front’ visible; one can look right through, achieving a different viewpoint on either side. Weathersby plays with our perception of a two-dimensional painting, making us delve into the very fabric of the piece when viewing. In 173 (Ind) the literal canvas becomes the frame, holding the square of design in its centre; it is exposed internally, cut into, displaying a more exciting design inside. The colours are immediately blatant, bright blue and red with acid yellow, though there is something self-conscious in the colouration. It is slightly restrained, nostalgic almost; pattern is often evocative of things, material objects it might normally decorate, here especially with the floor-like diamonds. To confirm the ‘frame’ status of the canvas, rather than it being the main spectacle, it has been carelessly splattered with white paint, raw, unmixed and unexplained. Weathersby’s work is an interesting play on expectation and viewpoint; probing texture and material, his canvases are methodical and experimental, making for intriguing and innovative viewing.