Artists are sometimes magicians, creating illusions of space and time. Tom Pfannerstill’s “From the Street” series appear to be trash, candy boxes, fast food cups, oilcans, violently pressed flat by the heavy tread of delivery trucks. The artist finds these items in the street and alleyways, but this is not what you see on the gallery wall. Pfannerstill recreates each cast-off container as carved wood sculptures painted with acrylics.
It is a highly successful trompe l’oeil effect. The notion of picking any of these up by hand in the alley might be distasteful, but the seductive desire to touch the sculptural replication is difficult to control, even if only to verify that they are indeed not the flattened and filthy ‘real thing’. Pfannerstill applies the same approach to recreating objects from around his studio “They have been altered, bent, folded and scarred,” explains the artist, “ …in a word individualized. They touch on issues of commercialism and consumerism, but are mostly intended to be subtle reminders of the temporality of all things.”
Pfannerstill is most renowned for the painted sculptures, but actually is identified through several different styles and medium. “The work changes often, but I find myself returning again and again to several major areas of investigation; three-dimensional still life, found object works, a series of the human head (in this case, mine), quilts and quilt patterns using un-quiltlike materials, blue paintings, and of late black paintings.”
Now, inspired by flying out of NYC at night, Pfannerstill hs been immersed in a series of paintings of cities at night; darkness punctuated by points of light. The work is not like anything people are familiar from this artist, which is why he is particularly excited about them.
Pfannerstill currently has a show in Nashville Tennessee at the Cumberland Gallery. He will also be exhibiting with Caroline Waite at Galerie Hertz in Louisville, Kentucky November 13 through December 31, 2016.
Education: BFA, Western Kentucky University, 1975; School of Hard Knocks, 1975-present
Gallery Representation: Galerie Hertz, Louisville; Cumberland Gallery, Nashville, TN; Jonathan Novak Contemporary, Los Angeles, CA; Ellis-Walker Gallery, Bowling Green, KY; Sager-Braudis Gallery, Columbia, MO
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Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2016 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.