02.19 — 03.26.17

February 19 – March 25, 2017
Opening reception: Sunday, February 19, 4 – 7 pm
“Most of the works in Cloven begin with carefully drafted shapes, which are then subject to serial repetition and calculated reductions. These shapes are rooted in the stubbornly intertwined worlds of utilitarian and corporeal desire. Ominous in their industrial context and latent power, shapes such as wedges, tapers, arcs and cams also contribute to the fecund, rhythmic motifs that have dominated our aesthetic and ritualistic histories.

In Cloven, sculptural installations, such as Planking, mimic obsolete farm and factory contraptions, while also taking visual cues from BDSM gear and human/animal proportions. Paintings, such as Nimb and Watershed, feature compositional grid reductions that slide in-and-out of industrial, sexual and cartoonish associations. The painting process is often haunted by the specter of commercial printing, with its sober layering of alienated colors, leaving brief openings for narration in the form of gestural layers, bleached color schemes and hesitant, choppy line work.”

— Paul Erschen, February 2017

Over the years, Paul Erschen’s studio practice has shifted between sculpture, printmaking, collecting, and most recently, painting. Receiving a BFA in 1998, from Northern Illinois University and an MFA in 2000 from The Ohio State University, Erschen has bounced around the Midwest, playing college and semi-professional baseball, in the 1990’s. Since 2003, Erschen has played drums in the Chicago band Mayor Daley and served as a sculpture technician at ACRE art residency in southwestern Wisconsin. Notable exhibitions include Newport Room at The Hills Esthetic Center, West Plaza at DOCUMENT, Store Brand, at Learning Machine and Cardinal Cross, Children of the Playhouse in temporary project spaces, all in Chicago, IL. Paul Erschen lives and works in Chicago, IL.

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