“I Could Be And Often Am Wrong”

“I Could Be And Often Am Wrong”

O c t o b e r  13th  -  N o v e m b e r   26th

The peripatetic Pennock, whose quasi-nomadic life recently has him shuttling between New York, Tel Aviv, the New England woods and the Southwest, has developed a practice of making small, portable paintings and large, site-specific murals that emphasize or subvert the space where the paintings are exhibited. By forfeiting standard white wall formality for something of an optical funhouse effect he transforms galleries into walk-in paintings.

The paintings themselves, which convert texts into what appear to be geometric abstractions or depict places based upon photos from his travels, might initially seem unrelated but gradually reveal connections to the attentive viewer and allude to his interest in the reconciliation of autonomy and citizenship. He follows his hunches to see where they lead and what they may add up to. There is a stranger in a strange land thread through his work, and a determination to look at things from new perspectives- and his installation tactics can impart those same qualities on viewers.

Pennock has called his work views from a contrarians quest for betterment (one of the paintings at Noise contains the phrases “What can I do to make the world better? What can I do to make this painting better? What can I do to be better?) and philosophical musings and concerns for the world and the self are prominent features. But his playful and sometimes poetic mix of words and images keep things from getting preachy or strident. He may be exasperated by the state of things but he maintains a sense of humor about it.

New paintings still include empty interiors that function as surprisingly intimate spaces to encourage, and be occupied by, thought- calm retreats from a world so crammed with distractions that thoughtfulness is too often discouraged- although they are moving away from realistic renderings towards more graphic and colorful views built from raised wood strips and pools of pure poured paint. As one of his text paintings proclaims, quoting the late singer Phil Ochs: “In Such An Ugly Time The True Protest Is Beauty”.