Nov 29 — Feb 17 2013
The Journal Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Jeff Elrod "Echo Paintings." This is Elrod's first solo exhibition with the gallery.
Having spent the past five years living and working in Marfa, Texas, Elrod's "Echo Paintings" look to digital tools as a means to influence and produce works which reflect the sparse physical landscape in which they were created. Based on sketches made in MacPaint and Illustrator, the paintings represent Elrod's interest in creating unintended results through something as structured as a computer and the programs utilized. Edited from hundreds of sketches referencing the idea of automatic drawing, the large-scale works in "Echo Paintings" display something faintly recognizable, such as letterforms that stop short of becoming words, appearing to tumble down the canvas. In this exhibition, Elrod, for the first time, uses large format printing onto canvas to scale up his drawings, producing several paintings that are fully realized through the technology that was once just a starting point for his work.
Jeff Elrod was born in 1966 in Dallas, Texas and lives and works in Marfa, Texas and Brooklyn, New York. Recent exhibitions include “Eagles” at Marlborough, Madrid, Spain (2012); “Mix/Remix” at Luhring Augustine, New York (2012); “Letters from the Sky” at Galerie Jean-Luc + Takako Richard, Paris, France (2011); and “The Flower Thief” at Dunn and Brown Contemporary, Dallas, Texas (2010). His work is included in the permanent collections of The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota; The Hirschorn Museum, Washington, D.C.; the Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, Texas; and the Houston Museum of Fine Art, Houston, Texas.
By Jerry Saltz, ill.
December 10, 2012
Mea Maxima Culpa
I was wrong about Jeff Elrod—way wrong. In 2000, when he showed his new paintings with marks seemingly made by computer-mouse movement, reproducing mechanical effects and odd glitches, I thought his work was gimmicky, slight, simple. Sure to fade. Since then, I’ve seen that not only was he ahead of the painterly curve; his work is captivating, smart, and challenging. His new paintings involving some of the same issues are carried to new levels of optical delight and cerebral accomplishment. I’m glad he and others didn’t listen to me.
Art in Review
By Roberta Smith, ill.
March 7, 2013
Jeff Elrod "Nobody Sees Like Us"
MoMA PS1 Contemporary Art Center
Through April 1
“Nobody Sees Like Us” is the emphatic title of Jeff Elrod’s marvelous and elucidating little exhibition at MoMA PS1. Those four words conjure a world of distinctly human possibility—of memory, pleasure and responsibility—that resonates richly, especially if you define “sees” as not just the visual act, but also as understanding.
The four paintings in Mr. Elrod’s show, however, stick strictly to the visual, making the act of seeing uncommonly visceral. Measuring at least seven feet high, they depart from his characteristic off-kilter geometries, which he plots on a computer and transposes to canvas by hand. (Such works were seen in a beautiful exhibition last fall at The Journal Gallery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.)
These newer paintings are worked up from hundreds of free-form computer drawings and printed rather than hand-painted: they present all-over surfaces of soft, smoky wafts of green, brown or gray in fuzzy, camouflagelike patterns that staunchly refuse to come into focus. Installed one to a wall in a small, pristinely white gallery, they form a unified environment notable for its visual crossfire.
The motifs are a bit like moiré patterns without the lines, and make the eyes tingle, as if Mr. Elrod wanted people to experience sight in its most basic, physical terms. Some might say they parody what Clement Greenberg called the visual “presence” of great paintings; presence here is almost automatic, an unavoidable fact—thrilling in the way roller coaster rides are.
The text accompanying the show notes that Mr. Elrod was inspired by Brion Gysin’s “Dream Machine,” a small chamber in which oscillating light frequencies were to be experienced with the eyes closed, as patterns on the eyelids. This makes sense, as does seeing them as last-minute, loose-limbed additions to the history of Op Art.