November 26, 2022

Eleanor Harwood Gallery is pleased to present Paul Wackers’ eighth solo exhibition with the gallery. Some of the paintings in Fresh Cut mark a departure from Wackers’ earlier work. He has previously painted flowers presented as arrangements in vases. This body of work includes many paintings that focus in on the complexity and quantity of blooms presented at flower stands. Wackers lives and works in New York city. The vivid floral pieces depict the return and renewed exuberance of post-pandemic life in New York. The paintings seem to communicate the activity on the streets, the rejuvenation of culture, and the return to community. They also allow the artist to play with form and repetition as he paints a variety of blooms both imagined and real.

Wackers almost always works with familiar objects and scenes, altering them slightly, and bringing still life out of the literal and into the mythical. Often he will take a bowl or a vase and offer a glimpse through its two-dimensional surface into a world of pattern and color. The canvas almost becomes another fabric entirely in these portals, as his process demands.

Wackers creates work that is all about relationships with the common things around us, and the way art can translate and transform them. It represents a love affair with both the real and the surreal, and even though the scenes are still, they are never quiet: constantly thrumming with potential energy. And yet the work remains warm, friendly, accessible, through adventurous exercise of both spray paint and acrylic. Pieces with almost identical subject matter have entirely different dynamics within them. Wackers paints with a  combination of vibrance and patience creating a recognizable and distinct hand.