Derek Lerner: In Between
Opening reception: September 8, 2017, 6-9pm
Asvirus 85, 2017
Ink on paper mounted on wood panel
60" x 40" (1.5m x 1m)
Brooklyn, NY — August 8, 2017 — In Between, an exhibition of four new large-scale ink on paper drawings, is a continuation and evolution of Derek Lerner’s Asvirus series in materials, concepts and visual vernacular.
Lerner’s drawings obsessively explore the complexities of contemporary issues concerning human interaction with and destruction of Earth’s environment through a series of visual metaphors that never allow for a certainty of place. He coalesces questions about how complex systems work, over-consumption and over-population into ironically beautiful visual metaphors that reference mapping, satellite photography, microscopic imagery or deep space photography, as well as signs, symbols, tags and random marks found on the streets of urban environments.
New elements introduced in these drawings represent Lerner’s enduring interest in the digitization of everyday life and the technological singularity (the hypothesis that the invention of artificial intelligence will abruptly trigger runaway technological growth, resulting in a highly evolved superintelligence that initiates unfathomable changes to human civilization). The components of each composition multiply and attach themselves to one another or consume others like runaway artificial intelligence, cancer, fungi, and suburbs encroaching on farmland or one nebula engulfing another.
Looking both biological and man-made, Lerner's lyrical, fictional landscapes meander across the paper, growing outward as layer upon layer is applied. They depict a co-mingling of human-made and natural systems and the tensions between those forces reflecting Lerner's conflicted feelings about his own role and impact on our environment, "…while in many ways my work is a reaction to over-consumption and environmental politics…” These in-bewteen or non-places are grey areas, places not clearly one thing or the other, and open to interpretations. These are spaces of uncertainty or intermediacy offering a visual representation of these tensions through an unsettled shifting perspective. Lerner writes, “There is an in-between space where viewers can get a feeling, some type of emotional response, idea, thought, or lingering-mood that they may not completely understand but sticks with them in the back of their minds seeping into consciousness or dreams. I’d like this work to live in an in-between space to be revisited over time.”
Born in Jacksonville, FL, 1974, Derek Lerner received a BFA from the Atlanta College of Art in 1995. Lerner’s work has been shown nationally and internationally including these venues: the Rochester Contemporary Art Center, Montserrat Galleries, Montserrat College of Art, Beverly, MA, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Museo de la Ciudad de Mexico in Mexico City, the Centre d’Exposition de Val-d’Or in Quebec, Canada and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. In 2015, New York City’s Metropolitan Transit Authority commissioned Lerner to create permanent public art for the Avenue X subway station on the F train in Brooklyn. This is his third solo exhibition with the gallery. He maintains his studio in Bushwick, Brooklyn.