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Press Release

Petzel Gallery is pleased to announce a solo exhibition by artist, sculptor, architect, and all-around polymathic “Genius” (2010 MacArthur Fellowship recipient), Jorge Pardo. This is his ninth exhibition with the gallery and first painting show—but don’t expect oil on canvas.

Candid snapshots of Jorge Pardo in workaday situations—man-spreading in a chair, strolling down the street, posing in Brazilian swim trunks—taken by friends, family, studio assistants, as well as up-close-and-personal Selfies, are the foundation for these 15 new paintings. And then the metamorphosis begins, simultaneously upending what defines a painting and a self portrait. Amalgamating craftsmanship and computerized manipulation with a range of media, Pardo creates an intricate, hybridized fusion of painting and sculpture. The images are bastardized—blown-up, engraved, laser-cut, hand-painted and back-lit with LEDs, to produce, in some cases, vast ornamental objects. Tiers of milled, perforated wood and Plexiglas overlap and interact on a relief which dissipates and parodies both self and portrait. Transparency, light, and color add further layers of complexity to these works—when illuminated the shapes, patterns and subjects within the paintings alter. A larger transformation occurs when the works are hung from the ceiling; the paintings morph into seemingly weightless light-boxes. 

Jorge Pardo’s self portraits—sourced from prosaic material, refined and abstracted by his practice—expand the artist’s exploration into questions of composition, forms of display and classification within this traditional genre. The paintings in Self Portraits double as sculptures, triple as ornaments, quadruple as lamps—forcing a reexamination of the everyday object.