JOHN HOUCK | Coordinate System #01.01

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Jessica Silverman
Coordinate System #01.01, 2016
Flashe Paint on Archival Pigment Print
28.44 x 21.44 x 1.5 in. (framed) 28 x 21 in. (unframed)


The artist

John Houck’s photography explores some of the intrinsic characteristics of the medium—the manipulation of light and shadow, shifting perspectives, illusions of depth—and its relationship to painting. His intricate compositions hold both the profusion of detail inherent to photography and the fluidity and playfulness of painterly gesture. He has said, “Don’t ask what it means so much as where does it go. Drawn lines are sometimes representations, but they also lead somewhere.” Using a process that involves photographing and re-photographing, Houck obscures the viewer’s certainty of what is painted and what is photographed, blurring the boundaries between documentary and illusionary space. He uses a soft color palette, comprised mostly of mixed shades rather than primary hues. His paintings, which are rarely shown on their own, refer to varied art historical styles.

Houck (b. 1977, South Dakota) has shown extensively in the United States and abroad. His work was recently on view at the Hammer Museum as part of the Made in L.A. 2018 Biennial. He had a solo show in 2017 at Dallas Contemporary. He has also participated in group shows at the International Center of Photography, New York (2016), the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2015), and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2014). His works are in the collections of the Guggenheim Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum of Modern Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Art Institute of Chicago. Houck has an MFA in Fine Arts from UCLA, a BA in Architecture from Colorado University and completed both the Whitney Independent Study Program and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture programs. He will have a solo exhibition at Jessica Silverman Gallery in 2021. He lives and works in Portland, OR.