Jack Pierson

24 May 2024 – 3 Aug 2024

Regular hours

10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00

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Lisson Gallery | 67 Lisson Street

England, United Kingdom

Travel Information

  • Marylebone/Edgeware Road
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For his first exhibition in London in over 20 years, New York-based artist Jack Pierson presents a new series of works that explore our experience of love, kinship, celebration, poetry, youth, and identity. Pierson diverted from the path of documentary photographers that he studied with in Boston, and was instead drawn to punk-influenced performativity, embracing non-linear, spontaneous compilations that prioritise the expression of individual freedoms over existing narratives. He has since, through a multi-disciplinary practice, challenged conventional hierarchies by commingling mediums equally. Featuring his signature word sculptures, photographs, a large-scale new array, and a series of folded photographic works, a journey through the exhibition invites viewers into a world where narratives, intimate and autobiographical, interact with those distinctly universal and inclusive.

A yellow hue echoes throughout the exhibition – a shift from Pierson’s typical blue, pink and grayscale themes – the centrepiece of this being Yellow Array (2024). A coalescence of archival pigment prints, C-type prints, cylindrical magnets, folded pigment prints, found posters, galvanized metal, paper, spray and watercolour paint, these large-scale compositions, spanning ten by fifteen-foot panels, intricately incorporate magazine pages, photographs, drawings, vintage poster and other ephemera, both personal and unfamiliar. Pierson's meticulous process of addition and rearrangement of diverse components – either produced by Pierson himself or discovered during his travels – mirrors that of a collector; each material is afforded a prominent presence within the whole. 

Pierson is acclaimed for his evocative word-sculptures and installations created by re-appropriating commercial signage and large-scale vintage lettering. The first word sculpture in the exhibition is titled Peter Blake (2024), named after the leading English visual artist who, having created the design for multiple iconic musical records including The Beatles' 1967 album ‘Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band’ and the 2012 Brit Award statuette, became a key figure in the pop art movement. Pierson’s sculpture embodies the connection between the two artists – one which began in the 1960s when the young artist first encountered the work of Peter Blake distributed in the media. Years later, the artists would meet, with Blake inviting Pierson to visit his studio – an encounter that left a lasting impression on both. Blake himself was inspired to create a series of word sculptures bearing Pierson’s name: Appropriating Jack PiersonCopying Jack Pierson and Borrowing from Jack Pierson (all 2002). While Pierson has been profoundly inspired by the work of Peter Blake – his own sculptural homage suggesting echoes of the playful and colourful arrangements of Blake’s work – this is the first time he has reciprocated this creative exchange by producing a word piece that directly references this history. Peter Blake also carries the legacy of the transformative period of cultural exchange between the UK and US in the 1960s, intertwining personal history with wider cultural influences. The exchange between Pierson and Blake serves as a testament to the power of artistic inspiration and collaboration, transcending time and distance to create connections within the ever-evolving landscape of contemporary art.

The exhibition will also feature a floor sculpture, Everything you ever wanted (2012), comprised of a stack of letters, and a grid of drawings titled The Order of the Star (2015). alongside additional word sculptures such as Nostalgia, A Friend, You Are The Sun, Room For Angels, Thank You and Water (all 2024), the latter a chain of painted wooden and metal letters that tumble down as if cascading from their position on the gallery wall.

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Jack Pierson


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