States Of Being

Pure Science

Sep 22 – Oct 06, 2007
513 West 20th Street New York, NY 10011

Press Release


Pure Science

September 6 - Saturday October 6, 2007

Jack Shainman Gallery is pleased to announce Pure Science, an exhibition of new works by Carlos Vega. For his fourth exhibition at the gallery Vega presents nearly fifty small paintings and lead plates that are the product of his ongoing fascination with anecdotal traces of other’s lives and the commonalities of human experience.

In a single work Vega combines documents, including personal letters,

accounting pages, diary entries, etc. with graphite, watercolor and acrylic to create a fresh and striking image. Ranging from portraits of historical figures to depictions of animals or geographical locations, each painting provides insight into one moment in time or space. The larger picture created by Vega’s works presents a spectrum of life experiences from despair to passion.

In addition to showing a number of works featuring the collage technique for which he is known, here Vega also presents works without any paper at all, some are painting on canvas and others are drawing on lead plates. Vega calls on his formal training as an artist with a concentration in printmaking, as well as the looming presence of the canonical Spanish printmaking tradition, to present numerous etched lead plates. Seduced by lead’s physical properties, appearance and association with danger, (what once comprised household paint and plumbing, is now a dangerous and forbidden metal), Vega embraces the malleability of the material and works with the idea of impossibility. If his etched plates were to actually go through a printing press they would be destroyed since the material is too soft to withstand the pressure. The drawings on lead made ala prima are expressionistic, improvised, and exhibit the immediacy between their conception and execution. This is a real departure for Vega whose past work and technique were painstakingly planned and methodical.

One group of artist portraits, from Ensor and Schiele to Richter and

Nauman, each holding a light or candle, serve as Vega’s homage to and call

for inspiration from these masters.

By presenting a wide range of source materials, imagery, and mediums, Vega encourages the viewer to see differently, to see more. The object becomes the vessel through which the viewer may draw from his own imagination.

Recent group exhibitions include De Granada a Gasteiz Un Viaje de ida y

Vuelta, Fundacion Artium, Alava, Spain; Black Panther Rank and File, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, traveling to Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, NC; Becados Manuel Rivera Palacio de los Condes de Gabia, Granada, Spain; The Beautiful Game, Contemporary Art and Futbol, Roebling Hall, New York, NY; and the Whole World is Rotten, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH.

For further information or press photography please contact the gallery at