Artforum, Critic's Picks: Esther Pearl Watson, Philomena Epps, 28 June 2022
GalleriesNow Weekender, Must-see exhibitions in Paris, New York, Rome, Berlin, Hove, London, Tokyo, 10 June 2022
Rosa Magazine, Top ten shows on this week – Esther Pearl Watson at Morena di Luna, 6 June 2022
Maureen Paley is pleased to present An Apparent Brightness by Esther Pearl Watson at Morena di Luna, Hove. This will be her second exhibition at the gallery and her first to be featured at the Hove space.
“In this new body of work, I have concentrated on assorted drawings, paintings and ceramics anchored in an immersive mixed media installation. This work uses folk vernacular and abstraction to make a fragile gesture towards a perhaps hopeful new reality.
The focal point of the exhibition is a bright and colourful immersive walk-in screen structure that is also the source of the show’s title, An Apparent Brightness.
Many of the paintings in the show include serene moments as children run through fields of dandelions. Metallic objects as well as flattened angels reminiscent of illuminated manuscripts hover in the atmosphere. We find meteors piercing the Earth’s atmosphere, they become shooting stars, burning, and breaking toward their new form. Everyone depicted seems oblivious to what is happening above them." - Esther Pearl Watson
"The wall of bookcases within the exhibition space contains over twenty melon-sized meteorites made from earthenware (terra cotta and obsidian) like scientific artefacts. They look like otherworldly chunks that fell through a colour splattered atmosphere of glitter, dust and silver leaf. Many have pink or golden tassels resembling some type of invasive species or perhaps ocean life on coral rock.Some of the stones with tufts seem to literally illustrate the Greek etymology for comets as being ‘long-haired’. The largest of the sculptures sits like a testament to an otherworldly experience and is titled after Hildegard of Bingen (1098–1179), the mediaeval visionary who contributed many early writings about the cosmos, drawings, paintings, manuscripts, and music that have inspired me." - Esther Pearl Watson
Esther Pearl Watson (b. 1973, Frankfurt, Germany) lives and works in Los Angeles, USA.
Recent solo exhibitions include The Magical Mystery Tour Returns, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Los Angeles, California, USA (2022); Safer at Home: Pandemic Paintings, The Richmond Center for Visual Arts, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA (2021); Dream Believer, University of Wisconsin, Parkside, Wisconsin, USA (2019); Mothership, Maureen Paley, London (2019).
Additionally, her work has been included in group exhibitions such as Rural Elements, Contemporary Art Museum of Plainview, Plainview, Texas, USA (2019); The Moon: Eternal Pearl, Concord Center for the Visual Arts, Concord, Massachusetts, USA (2019); Atrium, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, USA (2015) and Sky, Bedford Gallery, Lesher Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek, California USA (2014).