The Page Bond Gallery is pleased to present Constructing From Life: Paintings by Peri Schwartz and Resting On Is Relying On: Sculpture by Jere Williams, Friday, March 4, 2016 from 6 to 8 PM. The exhibition will run March 4 to March 26, 2016.

New York artist Peri Schwartz uses the objects of her surroundings as vehicles for formalist experimentation. In her latest work, she transforms the familiar space of her own studio into two-dimensional abstract compositions. In so doing, she takes the practice of working directly from life to its limits, blurring the lines between realism and abstraction. With a disciplined eye, Schwartz exploits the shapes and angles around her for their formal relationships, turning draft tables, book stacks, and rows of paint-filled jars into enticing symphonies of line and color. The striking interplay of natural and reflected light allows viewers to identify basic objects and textures in these scenes, yet the details and edges seem to dissolve into blocks of pure color and casual brushstrokes. Faint gridlines weave in and out of the compositions, flattening the illusion of spatial depth even further. In both the studio interiors and the bottles and jars series, layers of painterly gestures build upon one another, revealing Schwartz’s decisions to add, subtract, and rearrange objects as she works. Consequently, these images often have a tentative, unfinished appearance that emphasizes the artistic process over product. Neither stagnant nor contained, this body of work thus poses an ongoing, open-ended question about the artistic possibilities to be discovered in even the simplest objects and environments.

Schwartz has exhibited still lifes, interior scenes, and portraits nationally and internationally for over thirty years. Trained in a variety of mediums at Boston University and Queens College, her oeuvre encompasses paintings, monotypes, etchings, and drawings. Her work can be found in permanent collections throughout the United States and Europe, including the Corcoran Gallery of Art; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the New York Public Library; the British Museum, London; the Albertina Museum, Vienna; the Staatliche Museum, Berlin; and the Bibliotheque Nationale de France.

Philosophical inquiry is at the core of Jere Williams’s artistic practice. Using sculpture as his primary outlet, Williams critically examines such concepts as language, identity, the creation and reception of art, and the construction of meaning. His latest body of work considers the everyday practice of listening—specifically, the process by which our knowledge of the world is determined by the people and things to which we choose to devote our attention. Made primarily of wood, natural stone, and cast concrete, many of these sculptures have stacked compositions that give prominence to specific objects and materials. According to Williams, this type of arrangement “suggests paying careful attention to what inhabits the position of importance at the top of the stack,” yet, beyond these visual cues, the pieces are decidedly non-propositional. Deliberately refraining from “statements requiring decisions as to their truth or falsity,” the artist encourages viewers to tap into their own thoughts and emotions when encountering his work. By combining provocative imagery, exquisite detail, and conceptual perplexity, his latest sculptures eschew conclusive interpretation in order to prioritize the unmediated, intuitive experience of art.

Since earning his MA in philosophy in 2000 and MFA in sculpture in 2002, both from Georgia State University, Williams has exhibited nationally and taught at several institutions. Recently, The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism published one of his photographs in a special issue on printmaking and the philosophy of art (Winter 2015). Williams has also been accepted into the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art’s juried exhibition, New Waves 2016, on view now through April 17.