Oliver Vernon: Counterpoint @ The Chambers Project, Grass Valley
“This is part of human nature, the desire to change consciousness.” When Michael Pollan so lucidly spoke of the experience of psychedelics a few years back in his research into the healing and psychologically therapeutic qualities of mind-enhancing drugs, we immediately thought of the Furtherrr Collective of painters that includes Mars-1, Damon Soule, David Choong Lee, and Nome Edonna. And of course, Oliver Vernon. In particular, his work is an immersively transcendent, densely packed psychedelia that looks as if the Hubble Telescope has wired itself into Vernon’s brain so he could paint the furthest galaxies imaginable.
For Counterpoint, on view at The Chambers Project in Grass Valley, California this spring, Vernon has created a new series of paintings, drawings, and sculptural works, where the Chambers Project explains how “color, form, energy, architecture, good, evil, flesh and machine are lurking (in each work), never as physical entities, but as transient archetypes searching out their final places within the framework of the cosmos.” The cosmos is where we start and where we end with Vernon. Where Pollan talks about the desire to change our ability to see what is only in front of us, Vernon paints that impulse to see even more. The cosmos may be millions of miles away but they are also deeply entrenched in the subconscious of our minds. And Counterpoint is our visualization of that fact. —Evan Pricco
The show opens Saturday, Feb 18 and tickets can be purchased here in advance.