Saturday, July 7, 2012

Perry Burns, A Picture's Half Silence


                  Sara Nightingale Gallery is pleased to present, A Picture's Half Silence, a solo exhibition of new works by Perry Burns, opening Saturday, June 30 from 6 - 8 p.m

                   A well known abstract painter, Burns has for years been making oil paintings imbued with Islamic motifs and patterns. Spirituality, both personal and collective, has always played an important role in his work. Since 9/11, however, while continuing to produce his velvety, layered abstractions, Burns has been exploring political issues surrounding Islamic cultures, particularly events and imagery that have been filtered and distorted by the media, as well as by our personal perspectives and prejudices.

                  The works are primarily about crowds and often depict either scenes of uprisings or people engaged in prayer. Technology and it's ability to function as both a tool of peace -The Arab Spring and Twitter, for example- and of war, is evoked in the works by colorful square pixels that often conceal large sections of the source photographs in these mixed media works. Drawing from licensed imagery that he finds online, as well as from his own photographs, Burns has developed an elaborate process of transferring photographic images to large scale canvasses. Even in the work itself, technology plays a central role.

                  In Jali, a square painting in which a photograph of a group of Islamic women is nearly indiscernible due to the application of a black pixelated pattern such as one that might be found in a QR Code, the title refers to a term for a perforated stone or latticed screen common in Islamic architecture. The pattern obstructs an image of Pakistani women wearing burqas and thus reveals multiple layers of separation between the viewer (us) and the subjects of the painting (them). 

In his Satellite images, Burns employs military aerial photos taken from space of "target" locations in Pakistan and Afghanistan. While the imagery suggests future strikes by unmanned aerial vehicles, Burns finds beauty in these contemporary "pre-strike" landscapes and embellishes them with swatches of patterned color. 

The exhibition will run through July 30. For more information and images contact Sara Nightingale, 631-793-2256 or reply to this email.

Image: Perry Burns, Revolution #11, mixed media on canvas, 60" x 80", 2012