April 3 – May 10, 2014
Artist Reception: April 4, 5:30 PM
The body of work presented in Half Moon Maker began during the summer of 2013 while Sprecher was an Artist-in-Residence at The Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas. While “abstract” is a descriptive commonly attached to Sprecher’s paintings, the imagery that feeds them is drawn from the real world. In this exhibition Sprecher explores various methods of working with, and ultimately through, his chosen source material.
The works he produced at Chinati – a suite of works on paper and the painting titled “Memory Device Memory Device”— all have a photograph of three pigeons nesting on a cliff side as their starting point. In producing each piece, Sprecher worked from left to right and top to bottom as a dot matrix printer would. Only after applying paint in this systematic way would he finally “press” the image of the pigeons on to the surface. For Sprecher: The single image is becomes two or more...in the way that memory is gaining and losing information at the same time.
The twenty-two small paintings that constitute the main part of the exhibition also originate from the same image of the pigeons. In producing these paintings, Sprecher began by photocopying the image multiple times, cutting up the copies and recombining them as collages, and then delicately retracing the collaged image onto each painting’s surface. Through this process, top and bottom often become reoriented, and wings, head, nest, and background can just be glimpsed amidst the reinterpreted forms. It is through the act of painting that each painting ultimately differentiates itself from others in the set.
Sprecher earned his MFA at the University of Iowa in 2002, and he is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He was the recipient of a Fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in 2009, and was an Artist-in-Residence at The Chinati Foundation, Marfa, Texas, in 2013. Solo exhibitions include shows at Jeff Bailey Gallery in New York City in 2013, and upcoming shows at Gallery 16 in San Francisco and Staple Goods in New Orleans, both in 2014. Sprecher’s work is held in numerous private and public collections, including those of the Nerman Museum, the Knoxville Museum of Art and Progressive Corporation. This is Sprecher’s fourth solo exhibition at Steven Zevitas Gallery.