April 27, 2002
Jerry Phillips uses hard pencils

If you happen to be in New York and would like to see many people this weekend, as well as flawless paintings, go to see the Richter Show at the MoMA. I will probably be there too.
If you would like to see fewer people and some flawless drawings, go see Jerry Phillips at Feature Inc in Chelsea. The show starts today and there will be other artists in the Gallery, but this should not confuse you too much. Go to the back room of the gallery, the so called south gallery (I am writing this in the West wing of my living room).
Jerry Phillips makes these excellent, excellent pencil drawings that are could be the most excellent pencil drawings you will see this summer, so go, go, go. I was not even sure if it was pencil, at first. The man at the entrance of the Gallery was not helpful at all. He did not have a press release, as the show opens on the 27th!
Jerry lost his cool in one of the drawings, thank God, so one of the darkest gray gradients in one of the drawings had some sign of human-pencil-paper interaction. Otherwise... The drawings look a bit like perfect computer printouts, except they must have taken days and days to complete. Unless he uses some sort of mask-trick, but who cares, the images are just brilliant, these islands of shades on otherwise perfectly untouched pieces of paper. The drawings are pencil versions of overexposed images Phillips found in various publications. There are images of grass, some pornographic vegetable, gorgeous little birds. Thatís it. They are drawn on paper that floats in the frames. There are maybe 15 drawings in the exhibition and they are all quite brilliant. The largest drawing in the show is the one of a drawing of a horse. Sounds cheesy, doesnít it? It looks great. The drawing is maybe 6 feet tall and the graphite on paper looks like graffiti at dawn. The drawing is still a drawing but then all the lines have this subtle continuous 6 ft. gradient. Tour de force.
Another wall of the show is occupied by a small drawing with an immense amount of depth to it. It looks a bit like the Powers of 10 drawings, but in pencil and a little bigger.
I like the little Q & A page on the feature inc site. Makes me feel that Jerry is just a regular kind of guy, who is just a tiny bit obsessive-compulsive, and who likes his pencils sharpened. My kid of guy. Letís see. I have the feeling we are going to meet. I am certainly going to meet with his drawings again. They are quite impressive and now I have a place to go to, once they close the doors on the Richter Show at the MoMA.
(btw. I think it is permitted to take photographs at feature inc...)

Posted by Witold Riedel at April 27, 2002 12:52 AM
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