In the Blink of an Eye: Mark Barrow and Anthony Pearson

Mark Barrow, Catacorner, 2008; Anthony Pearson,  Untitled (solarization), 2008. Courtesy the artists and Lisa Cooley.


Yesterday Lisa Cooley Gallery opened the first in a series of exhibitions that combine emerging, mid-career, and canonical artists. The show included Mark Barrow, Anthony Pearson, and Blinky Palermo, respectively. Peter Schwarze appropriated the name “Blinky Palermo” from an American boxing promoter and Mafioso. He died in 1977, and ever since, critics and artists have grappled with his legacy.


On their group exhibition at Lisa Cooley we asked Pearson and Barrow for their interpretations of Palermo’s work:


Anthony Pearson: I learned with Palermo, as with several other artists of his time, that artistic intention ultimately supersedes technique, formalism and appearances.


Mark Barrow: Palermo is a hard artist to pin down. His work is very elusive. I think it stems from the fact that there are so many contradictions in his objects/installations, so many quirky decisions. Normally this would annoy me in an artwork. Palermo’s work, however, is grounded enough in a dialogue of abstraction, minimalism, etc. that I find the contradictions refreshing. They give the work an openness. It is like subscribing to a system and undermining it at the same time. And I think that is a very interesting model for making art, especially today. It is also a model to which I subscribe.

Lisa Cooley Gallery is located at 34 Orchard St., New York.