June 27 to August 11, 2019
Ampersand is pleased to present Dialogue, an exhibition of 24 new paintings by Robert Pokorny. In its most direct sense, dialogue here refers to the close relationship between the works on paper published in his book Drawings and the paintings presented on our gallery walls. The energy of free rein taken by Pokorny and the distinct language of line and color found in the book is translated to the raw linen of his paintings, a material which itself recalls the Kraft Muscletone paper used by Pokorny as a substrate for his drawings. The viewer is thus given the opportunity to glimpse the flow of creative energy, the conversation between a book of sketches made over the better part of a year and the paintings that refine their message. It’s also a dialogue of collaboration between artist and gallery—an answer to our ongoing question of how books published through our gallery imprint, at their best, can function as an impetus for new creation, not just a record of something already made. There is a literary playfulness to his paintings, both in what we see and the words Pokorny employs for titles. Like a poem or carefully constructed story, portrait is used as a device through which a dialogue is opened between the artist and viewer, the artist and the outside world. Portrait as an expression of the artist himself, the practice of his studio, the intentional dialogue between his own vision and great painters from the past. We can engage with his paintings simply for the sensation of looking, but Pokorny also invites us to read between the lines. Color and form are used to describe and initiate feeling. Each mark is packed with foresight and intention. Questions about humanity, diversity, discord and balance in society are communicated through his process of abstraction. Portraits that do not convey one person in particular but perhaps pictures of us all—the rich diversity of human dialogue, the moments of deep conflict, the pleasure of pure harmony.
Robert Pokorny lives and works in Long Beach, California. His drawings and paintings have been widely exhibited, including in Land Purchase, a group exhibition here at Ampersand in summer of 2017. His book Drawings, published by our gallery imprint, was released in April of 2019.
Did you find everything you were looking for …, 2019
Acrylic on linen over panel
16 x 12 1/2 inches
© 2019 Robert Pokorny and Ampersand. All Rights Reserved.