Josh Sperling’s Perrotin Show is a ‘Big’ One

By Isabelle Davis

First exhibited in Perrotin Gallerie’s Seoul location then its Paris outpost, Josh Sperling has finally made it home with his latest exhibition at Perrotin Gallerie NYC: “Big Time.”

As you enter the immersive, white space, you are immediately encompassed by one of Sperling’s most grand gestures and shows to this day. Large in scale and in scope, Sperling’s assortment of visual experiences exemplifies his mastery of carpentry, painting, and sculpture combined.

With an expressive quality and irrepressible energy, Sperling’s pieces emphasize texture and movement. From the triviality of a typical swirl and squiggle, Sperling’s spontaneous compositions are grand in scale and are more than what meets the eye.

As you roam through Perrotin NYC’s white-walled space, at first, from a distance, you see what resembles the previously mentioned swirl and squiggle; however, as you get closer to the mesmerizing shapes, you realize they are something otherwise. The large-scale works go beyond the well-established geometrical shapes one often encounters in grade school; the forms are brought together in a way that is enjoyable to explore. They are layered on top of each other, leading one to divulge in and examine each and every individual shape Sperling creates. By utilizing saturated, and sometimes clashing, colors, Sperling comments on his creation of a unique visual vocabulary.

Beyond his use of color and encompassing forms, Sperling’s feats of carpentry are displayed. The process behind his seemingly one-dimensional works present Sperling’s masterful combination of painting and sculpture.

Shaping canvases by using plywood supports with canvas stretched over, Sperling creates structured pieces that are immersive and three-dimensional. As one first explores the space from a distance, one thinks Sperling’s pieces do not penetrate one’s personal space; however, his structured pieces do the exact opposite. Sperling’s works not only break down the barrier between viewer and artwork but force a viewer to analyze the work’s structure and craftsmanship.

When commenting on the show, loyal fan and well-known home to many of Sperling’s creations, Perrotin Gallerie elaborated on how Sperling “enlists the clustering strategy of his ‘composites’ to include all the shapes in his arsenal. It is an amalgam, a compendium of forms where echoes of work past can be found, as well as some indication of what composition Sperling has in store for future work.”

With an approachable, enjoyable, and exploratory experience, Sperling’s works blend colors and architecture with immersive energy. “Big Time” represents Sperling’s perspective on the sentiments different forms hold, the ability an individual has to explore said forms, and the dynamism one can experience when thrown into a visually stimulating space.