“Dance movement” is the first piece to capture your attention when you walk into Gallery 151 in Chelsea for Anton Perich’s showing, Painting in the Machine, and it holds your gaze for the entirety of the visit. Even when you look away to see the other works – Many of which resemble brightly woven French beach towels and colorful throws with horizontal lines – your mind still lingers with “Dance Movement.”
The colors of “Dance Movement” completed in 2006, are pastel, fluorescent, and black – feminine and strong. There is the clear figure, in black, of a young figure turning to the side, her arms out wide, in a swirl. The horizontal lines matched with the body’s turn create an incredible and dynamic sense of movement. The horizontal lines of the paint drip down to create a second layer of movement in the painting.
Perich paints using a machine painting technique. He invented a painting machine in 1978, which in fact was an early version of the ink jet printers we are so familiar with today. The printing happens through the application of vertical lines of color, which are a distinctive feature of his works of art.
Perich’s background in film also comes through, with many cinematic images seemingly resting behind horizontal lines of color, like moving stills. In “Tesla,” there appears to be a man resting his face on his hands, and another painting features a figure resting against a wall.
Drips in art are familiar, most famously in the work of Jackson Pollock, but with Perich, you get the sense of a human intervened in the processed data or color. It is as though something had gone awry with the ink jet and a human voice had disrupted the machine printing. The paintings leave you questioning the clean, clear processing of visual data. It leaves you questioning the overstimulation of information, and wondering, wanting to experience more of the elicited human emotion captured in distorted form.
“Reality is not what photography is about—it is an abstract world based on the seductive and the fantastic” – Anton Perich
Anton Perich: Painting in the Machine
Exhibiting June 16th – July 28th, 2016
Writing by Carmen James
Courtesy of Gallery 151; “Painting in the Machine” is curated by Wallplay; Anton Perich appears courtesy of Postmasters Gallery, New York.