Veronica A. Pérez: Using Material as Language

 

Kingston Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition by Veronica A. Pérez, the 2016-17 Kingston Gallery Emerging Artist. In her bold collection of new sculptures, untitled, Pérez uses material as language to express words often lacking in their ability to convey/confess, such as displacement, discomfort and desire to belong.

When words aren’t enough to convey certain emotions, Pérez turns to contradictory materials creating sculptural objects of concrete, metal and human hair, as vehicles through which the unknown becomes understandable. Hair pours out of concrete, hanging limply over the side.

Metal is overtaken by hair, as it seeps out of the walls in an effort to claim its space. The pouring of a soft substance, imbued with body and flesh, from this hard material becomes the silent confrontation. As a young child, Pérez was affected by the disparity between the industrial and natural facets of her home state of New Jersey, as well as growing up on an Army base, never really having a place to settle down. Utilizing construction and kitschy materials in her work, hybridizing the ideals of beauty and nostalgia, she creates intense personal moments.

Their fragility echoes sentiments of a lost self, and at the same time parallels contemporary feminist tensions.

Veronica A Pérez was born and raised in New Jersey and works primarily in sculpture. She earned her BFA at Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia, and her MFA at Maine College of Art in Portland. Perez exhibits her work regularly in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Maine, and received the 2016 Albert K. Murray Fine Arts Educational Fund award.

On view concurrently in the Kingston Main Gallery is Chantal Zakari’s Strategic Planning exploring the hollow vocabulary that passes for symbols of positive change everywhere one looks. The exhibition title is adopted from the business term “Strategic Plan,” originated in the military and now a staple of universities, liberal arts colleges, and even art schools. Zakari displays corporate vernacular on flags, pennants, and banners along with collected visual symbols from various historical periods. In her work, Chantal Zakari draws upon contemporary social issues by making connections through personal narratives, history, and popular culture.

On view in the Kingston Project Space is New Work, two large-scale drawings by Barbara Moody. Moody’s drawings are created with ink, charcoal, collage, and gesso on Tyvek and paper. Her exuberant and intense mark-making ignites her surfaces with energy, displaying her interest in visual complexity and the contrast between density and open space. The drawings describe interior spaces, where objects shift and collide: forms float in space, sink, or tilt precariously in the disorienting environment.

 

untitled is on view in the Kingston Main Gallery January 3-28, 2018 with a SoWa First Fridays opening reception on Friday, January 5, 5-8 PM. Kingston Gallery hours are Wednesday–Sunday 12–5 pm and by appointment.