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ERIC TUCKER

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Artist Statement:
The essence of my work is the indeterminacy of perception.  I am interested in exploring visual perspective and the body's physical awareness of objects.  This can be understood as the space of the eye in contrast to the space of the hand.  The eye sees near and far to an almost unlimited degree.  While the hand, limited in scope to the length of the arm, gives us an accurate understanding of the size, shape and depth of things relative to our bodies.  Through these different ways of perception, linked with intuition and reasoning, we come to understand our environment and the things in it.  My sculptures are an investigation of the ambiguity of sight and the certainty of tactility.  They are sites where visual sensation and physical presence lead to changing interpretations of space and volume.
 

Eric Tucker: "Recent Sculpture" at Zg Gallery
Through the melding of minimalist and abstract expressionist modalities, Eric Tucker’s geometric sculptures seek to reveal the disparity that exists between visual perception and physical reality.  Formally, the principles of minimalism are strictly followed; the openness, transparency and weightlessness of the repeated geometric shapes are conveyed by an overall economy of substance and a concise use of highly refined industrial materials adhering to the minimal aesthetic.  The expressive aspect of the work is the result of subtle shifts away from the otherwise precise mathematical arrangement of the elements towards what Tucker refers to as, “the purely subjective act of composition.”

Tucker states, “The essence of my work is the indeterminacy of perception.  I am interested in exploring visual perspective and the body’s physical awareness of objects.  My sculptures are an investigation of the ambiguity of sight and the certainty of tactility. They are sites where visual sensation and physical presence lead to changing interpretations of space and volume.  The sculptures present the dichotomy between illusory and literal spaces.  Through these different ways of perception, linked with intuition and reasoning, we come to understand our environment and the things in it.”  This is clearly present in Tucker’s relief sculptures.  Groups of flattened outlined cube forms jut off the wall in arrangements of three or four.  They are attached to the wall and each other by rods or bars made of the same material; aluminum, bronze or stainless steel.  Taking advantage of the shadows cast by the flattened cube shapes and the inherent three dimensional expectation of sculpture, he is able to point out the weaknesses of visual perception with what Clement Greenburg called “eye undeceiving
trompe l’oeil.”  Tucker continues, “From the frontal position the wall acts as a ground plane, much like a sheet of paper.  Initially, the hanging ‘cubes’ appear to be subject to traditional figure/ground relationships.  However, the compositions create ambiguities between figure and ground.  One can look through the cubes and see the armatures.  The ‘mass’ of the cube dissolves into a ground.  The sculptures, which at first appear clear, become highly interpretive and subjective.  They invite the viewer to explore and visually rewrite them.”

 Tucker’s free-standing floor pieces attempt to subvert the traditional roles played by line and color.  Each work consists of a brightly colored square platform upon which a hexagonal tinted Plexiglas form is propped up by an aluminum armature.  Tucker states that “line and color are often seen as distinct elements with fundamentally different properties.  Color is seen as relative, irrational, even intoxicating.  Line, on the other hand, is rational, clear and sober.  Color plays a very predictable role in my sculptures.  A yellow piece of Plexiglas over a red base looks kind of orange – no big surprise there.  The color acts as logically here as in the color wheel.  The linear elements of the sculptures are far less predictable.  The edges and bars create an image from a particular perspective which is not visible from others.  As the viewer moves around the sculptures the shapes appear distorted and even disappear.  Line becomes the irrational element.

 “My sculptural investigation draws from Modernist concepts of order and disorder.  Using minimalist compositional strategies, I make geometric sculptures based on line, flatness, pattern and illusion.  The objects adhere to mathematical or visual systems simultaneously ordered yet illogical.  My interest lies between the internal relationships of the object and the external space of the viewer, specifically the viewer’s activity in the space surrounding the sculpture. The spectator’s changing point of view activates the relationships between the parts of the sculpture.  Illusions are visible only from certain perspectives while other perspectives offer a purely literal sense of space.  My work engages the physicality of looking and the possibilities of the viewer to create narratives between the parts and the whole.”

      

Resume  
Education: M.F.A. University of Chicago, IL
B.A. Indiana University Northwest, Gary, IN
   
Exhibitions:  
2005 Zg Gallery, "Working Process," Chicago, IL
Zg Gallery, "Summer Show '05," Chicago, IL
Art Chicago, Zg Gallery, Chicago, IL
2004 Zg Gallery, "Summer Show '04," Chicago, IL
Zg Gallery, "Eric Tucker, Recent Sculpture," Chicago, IL
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2003 Zg Gallery, "As Small As Possible," Chicago, IL                
Bachman Gallery, "Salon Show," Munster, IN
2001 IUN Center for Contemporary Art, Solo Exhibition, Gary, IN
Gallery 312, "Butterflies and Other Monsters" Chicago, IL
Midway Studios, M.F.A. Thesis Exhibition, The University of Chicago, IL
2000 Center for Fine and Performing Arts, Faculty and Alumni Exhibition, IN University Northwest, Munster, IN
1998 Gallery Northwest, Senior Thesis Exhibition, Gary, IN
   

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