Walter Price
Pearl Lines
December 18, 2016–January 22, 2017

188 E 2nd Street
New York, NY 10009

Karma is pleased to announce the first solo exhibition in New York by American painter Walter Price.

Price’s paintings are a mix of intimate recollections, cultural symbols, identity, and social questions. Summoning past experiences, such as growing up in the South or fighting fires while attending the Navy, Price creates illustrative multi-dimensional vignettes, free from time and the laws of gravity, amalgamating into single scenes, often with contradictory perspectives and narratives. His paintings are an aporia, with disconnected words, disorganized objects and human-like forms, all individually recognizable but combined, they make up scenes, which are unidentifiable in a conventional context. His stories are often retrievable—like ones you would recover from photographs that are buried in bookshelves and boxes—but there is often something irreconcilable as if the memory runs into obstacles and creates half-hearted illusions.

In many instances, the scenes in question take place indoors—or at least could be mistaken as indoors, like a cross-section of a room where one half is concealed from the world and the other is open to it. The protagonist/s are regularly in some stage of movement, either incidental, meaningful and often suggestive and using the partition of their space as a backdrop to perform or a wall behind which to hide. Another group of paintings, merely presents a figure, facing away from the viewer, back turned, mirroring their gaze at the thing in front of them.

Language is often used in a non-absolute, not obvious and undependable manner. Words are cut up or cut off. Sometimes only visible from the waist up, sometimes hiding in negative space, requiring a double-take and investigation, while its form imposes itself as necessary.

Price’s paintings, modest in scale, are all over and poly-focal, where assumed hierarchies of space, line, shape, gesture and narrative are constantly reshuffling, cutting in line and playing musical chairs
with each other. They are a place where representations dissolve and shape-shift; where image and non-image indecipherably integrate, stretching figuration towards abstraction.

Equally, Price’s work is about “painting,” about its formal qualities and history, about a way of seeing and about the idea of transforming experiences into color and line with a physical material.