Sam Messenger

Exhibitions Berggruen Gallery

Sam Messenger

Nov 2 — Dec 23, 2017

Check gallery website for hours and additional info

Sam Messenger features a selection of works on paper by Messenger created throughout 2017 and paintings from 2014. Messenger’s recent works demonstrate the artist’s continuing engagement with intricate, geometric patterns that convey a sense of materiality and an illusion of depth through their interlacing, web-like designs. The tactile dimension of Messenger’s works reflects the artist’s meticulous handling of ink and pigment on paper—a manual technique that harkens back to his early training in graphic design, technical drawing, and printing practices. Messenger’s intensive, rules-based craft unfolds in the formation of grids drawn carefully by hand. This process involves using a straightedge to draw parallel lines, which he then carefully rotates to create depth and movement where the lines intersect. The mathematical framework of the artist’s mark-making recalls the structural harmony and order of Minimalist art, yet the ebb and flow of Messenger’s layered compositions propose a coalescence between the organic qualities of his medium and his penchant for geometric precision. Planes of linear repetition swell and contract to create a fluid rhythm of spherical forms with a fibrous delicacy. What Messenger thus brings forth is a probing of his medium’s potential—an exploration of the optical possibilities of ink and pigment through a unique visual language that he continues to expand with each of his striking designs.
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Sam Messenger, Veil from Maia, 2017, ink and pigment on paper, 65 x 59 inches (detail)