Jack Pierson at Thaddaeus Ropac
“Certain words aren’t good when you describe an artwork – like ‘sentimental’, ‘romantic’, ‘poetic’ and ‘pretty’. But those are my favourite qualities of anything.” says Jack Pierson, at Ropac for his fifth solo show. The American artist is one of ‘Boston Five’, a group of photographers who met in art school in the 70s (David Armstrong, Nan Goldin, Mark Morrisoe , and Philip-Lorca DiCorcia). His practice embodies an array of media spanning from wall-drawings, word-pieces, installations, drawings, paintings and photographs. For this exhibition, he has chosen to show a series of nine ink drawings of Roman Emperor, Hadrian’s lover, the young and beautiful Antinous, after whom Hadrian named the Egyptian city of Antinopolis and had several statues made of his effigy, deifying this Greek youth who mysteriously drowned in the Nile. In conjunction to these works, he has worked on a series of large-format drawings on rough canvas, in which Pola Negri, the femme fatale of 1920s and 30s silent movies, is the protagonist. Pierson is interested in her darkness and the personae of the actress for whom the barrier between the public realm and the private sphere was practically inexistent. Pierson is a sort of archaeologist of life, past and present, in which every one of his works tells a story of love, desire, loss, hope and loneliness.
Until 30 July.
7 rue Debelleyme, 3rd. www.ropac.net/