In an examination of modernist architecture and contemporary art, Enoc Perez has created a new body of work that engages Philip Johnson’s legacy in Texas.
Johnson, whose life and work are not without criticism, is one of the foremost American architects of the 20th century. With an illustrious career that includes the inaugural curatorship at the Museum of Modern Art’s Department of Architecture and Design, Johnson is known for his oversized personality as much as his structures that survive him.
Perez has in recent years focused his architectural work on the late Johnson, most notably with his series of paintings depicting Johnson’s Lipstick Building, which were exhibited inside the architect’s Glass House in 2015. Here, Perez expands upon this project by highlighting Johnson’s extensive work in Texas, which includes the depiction of and installation at 8 locations in Dallas and Fort Worth: the Amon Carter Museum of American Art (Fort Worth; 1961), The Beck House (Dallas; 1964), John F. Kennedy Memorial (Dallas; 1970), Fort Worth Water Gardens (1974), Thanks-Giving Square (Dallas; 1976), The Crescent (Dallas; 1985), Comerica Bank Tower (Dallas; 1987) and Cathedral of Hope (Dallas; 2010).
Adopting an incremental paint layering technique that mimics Warholian printmaking, Perez strips these landmarks of their functionality, presenting them as art objects through repetition as if to suggest the accumulated passings of a daily commute.
Accompanied by public installations at the Johnson locations, Liberty & Restraint invites the viewer to examine their relationship to the urban landscape by challenging the boundary between interior and exterior, and between architecture and art.
Born in San Juan in 1967, Perez relocated to New York City in 1986 to study painting at the Pratt Institute. In addition to his primary focus on architecture, he has explored such diverse subject matters as portraits, nudes, and still lifes. Perez's work can be found in museum collections such as: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The British Museum, London; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven; and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Curated by Peter Doroshenko, Executive Director, and Abby Lockett, Curatorial Assistant