States Of Being

Pierre Dorion

Jun 05 – Jul 25, 2014
Press Kit

Works (Tap to zoom)

Press Release


June 5 – July 25, 2014

Opening reception: Thursday, June 5th, from 6 – 8 PM at 524 West 24th Street.

Jack Shainman Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition of new paintings by Pierre Dorion. The show includes works which mark Dorion’s continued engagement with, and exploration of, architectural spaces, especially those of galleries and museums. From a Nicaraguan storefront in the afternoon sun to the shut gate of an art gallery, these paintings play with the tension between representation and abstraction.

Dorion’s process begins by photographing a myriad of exterior and interior architectural elements that fascinate him. He then selects photos to translate into paintings, and through the use of light and the elimination of detail, creates highly minimal, and frequently monochromatic compositions. In a 2013 interview, Dorion explains his recent work as follows: “In the last few years, I’ve worked extensively from photographs that I’ve taken in galleries or museums on various trips and that consequently include certain works or fragments of works. My preference is for formally spare, very minimalist works, in which the boundaries between architecture and the artwork fade away in the painting.” Dorion’s paintings are imbued with an uncanny emptiness that distills fragments of reality, drawing influences from the history of the medium to engage in a conversation on Minimalism and abstraction.

Dorion’s exploration of Minimalism in this exhibition of new paintings is twofold as he both depicts works by well-known Minimalist artists and renders architectural spaces using the Minimalist tropes of non-expressivity, expansive color fields and gradients, and stark geometry. In his larger works, such as Untitled (BG), 2013, and Dusk IV, 2014, Dorion extracts details from architectural spaces which he has photographed in order to strip them of any particularity. These details become abstracted to such a degree that their ambiguity challenges representation; Untitled (BG) abstracts the doors of a freight elevator into a study in gray color fields. His smaller works depict installations of purely Minimalist work. Untitled (FS), 2014, shows an exhibition space with works by Fred Sandback. More than a mere illustration these paintings blend the architectural minimalism of the exhibition spaces with the Minimalist artworks on display. This creates a composition in which figure-ground distinctions are flattened resulting in a melancholic mysteriousness. By breaking down the boundaries between art and architecture and quoting Minimalist tropes, Dorion’s paintings create a tension between what is apparent at first sight and what is obscured, and between the surface and depth of the work itself.

Pierre Dorion lives and works in Montreal, Quebec. His most recent solo exhibition was Pierre Dorion, which opened at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal in October of 2012. This major exhibition included work from the past twenty years of Dorion’s career and was accompanied by a catalogue published by the museum featuring essays by Mark Lanctôt, David Deitcher, and Stephen Horne. The exhibition subsequently traveled to Dalhousie Art Gallery in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where it was on view through May of 2013.

Concurrently on view at 513 West 20th Street is a group show The Shape of Things from June 5th through July 25th.

The School, in Kinderhook, New York, has opened with an inaugural exhibition of work by Nick Cave. Additionally, an exhibition of new works by Nick Cave will be on view at both Chelsea gallery locations from September 4th to October 11th.

Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10am to 6pm. Summer hours are Monday through Friday, from 10am to 6pm, beginning Monday, July 7th. For additional information and photographic material please contact the gallery at