Eric N. Mack (b. 1987, Columbia, MD) refers to himself as a painter, yet his works rarely observe the medium’s traditional canvas-to-stretcher format. Rather, his tactile assemblages, created from a dynamic combination of used textiles, worn clothes, moving blankets and torn rags, alongside photographs and pull outs from books and magazines, extend and transform the notion of painting. His use of colour, form and material as elements in a compositional lexicon as well as the stained or dyed fabrics which are his principal medium, declare the origin of his practice in the investigation of painting in an expanded field, while the way his compositions occupy and transform space are evidence of their sculptural nature. They are both paintings and sculptures – fully engaging with both disciplines. Recomposed with oil and acrylic paint, fabrics are hung using ropes and rods so that each architectural composition expands into the viewer’s space. In this way, Mack interrogates the very nature of painting, opening up a dialogue that explores the performative qualities inherent to his process, and how it both conflicts with and enhances the notion of painting as essentially still.
With its use of accumulated, found and sourced materials, Mack’s work grapples with the schism that exists between fashion and art. From a young age, Mack was fascinated by the world of fashion, sometimes working in his father’s discount clothing store. Employing a diverse array of textiles – some aesthetic, some utilitarian, most discarded, their use-value depleted – Mack’s paintings investigate how different materials reflect identity. For example, his use of factory-made moving blankets, frequently found in galleries and museums during installation, project the idea of transit, and hint at the nomadic nature of the life of the artist. The variety of sources assembled in Mack’s artworks leads to the creation of a non-hierarchical system, refusing to privilege the readymade over the hand crafted, or one history over another. His paintings blur the line between utility and style, crafting an oeuvre that is absorbed in the duality of deconstruction and reconstruction.
Since Last We Met
Simon Lee Gallery, New York, is pleased to present Since Last We Met, an intergenerational group exhibition organized by Debra Singer in collaboration with Simon Lee Gallery.
Since Last We Met centers around an imagined set of metaphorical conversations among artists who experiment with notions of materiality. Blurring boundaries between painting and sculpture as well as between craft and fine art forms, artists from three generations are put in discussion with one another, as they transform found and commonplace objects into new works, alternatively reflecting uncanny sensibilities or an embrace of cultural or gendered embodied identities. With works dating from the 1970s to the present, the show reflects eclectic material sensibilities generated from production methods that are alternatively virtuosic and hand-crafted, on the one hand, or industrial and ad hoc, on the other. Among the artists on view are Anna Betbeze, Elaine Cameron-Weir, Verena Dengler, ektor garcia, Mike Kelley, Eric N. Mack, Robert Morris, Robert Rauschenberg, and Michael E. Smith.
Eric N. Mack: Misa Hylton-Brim
Simon Lee Gallery is pleased to present Misa Hylton-Brim, Eric N. Mack’s inaugural solo exhibition with the gallery and his first in London. The exhibition features a new body of the artist’s signature large-scale assemblages, which oscillate between painting, sculpture, the readymade and performance, at the same time initiating a dialogue between fashion and art.
Simon Lee Gallery New York is delighted to present Metropolis, an exhibition that showcases how artists use the city as a source for materials, subjects, and ideas. The works present how artists can interpret the metropolis in multifarious forms, and illustrate the universality of the city.
Eric N. Mack in conversation with Tim Marlow
On the occasion of his solo exhibition "Misa Hylton Brim", Eric N. Mack is in conversation with Tim Marlow, Artistic Director of the Royal Academy of Arts. They discuss Mack's work within the context of the exhibition and his wider practice.