Pareidolia, a Solo Exhibition of the Paper-Cut Art of Tahiti Pehrson

August 12, 2015

Pareidolia, a Solo Exhibition of the Paper-Cut Art of Tahiti Pehrson

Joseph Gross Gallery is pleased to present Pareidolia, a solo exhibition of intricate, hand cut paper works by Tahiti Pehrson (featured November, 2013). Pehrson, who has worked with this specific medium for 15 years, will début a series of three-dimensional pieces, framed hanging works and large scale installation that explore the psychological phenomenon of pareidolia—the perception of a visual or auditory pattern where there is none. The opening reception will be held at Joseph Gross Gallery on September 10th, 2015 from 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Often associated with religious or intellectual epiphany, pareidolia is credited with helping the ancients orient an unintelligible world through the interpretation of signs and patterns where there was merely chaos. For Pehrson, the phenomena has become uniquely associated with his practice, which is intensely process-oriented and often evokes the discovery of familiar shapes and renderings by viewers, even where none were originally intended by the artist. Drawing on variations found in diverse ecological and cultural systems he experiences in his travels, Pehrson dedicates an average 100 hours to a typical piece, rendering designs that could be considered minimalist in aesthetic, despite their laborious process and ornamental quality.

Deliberately toeing the line between geometric pattern and organic decomposition, Pehrson applies equal parts planning and chance to his work, using computer programming to develop layered compositional structures, but deliberately leaving the patterns incomplete to allow for serendipitous arrangements in the finished piece. Some of his newest work, such as Action at a Distance (2015), deliberately evokes the title by offering representational forms left open to interpretation. Others, like the eponymous Pareidolia (2015), evoke natural occurrences, such as an eclipse, that have been imbued with symbolic significance by their human audience.

Tahiti, who initially was drawn to art through painting, speaks of his compositional arrangements with the vocabulary of a painter, summarizing his decade-and-a-half pursuit, “I think it’s a reduction of all the things that I learned from painting. It’s light and shadow in dimension and I like dealing directly with those things and find all these small variations and more ground opens up even though the parameters continue be the same.”

Tahiti Pehrson (born in Santa Rosa, California, 1972) is an American artist based in Nevada City, California. He studied painting and other art related subjects at the San Francisco Institute of Art and has been creating geometrical hand cut paper layered into three-dimensional structures for fifteen years. His work has been featured in numerous group and solo exhibitions, including the ICA San Jose “Variations & Betwixt” Window Installation in 2014; the S.F. Art Commission “Sea of Love” Installation and the solo show; and “Connectivity” held at the Salon 91 Gallery in Cape Town, South Africa. In 2015 Tahiti’s work was acquired by the Facebook Permanent Collection. Pehrson is currently represented by K. Imperial Gallery in San Francisco, Salon 91 Gallery in Cape Town, and the Joseph Gross Gallery in New York City. 

Joseph Gross Gallery
New York, NY
Opening September 10th, 2015. On view through October 3, 2015.