Dan Perjovschi at Lombard-Freid Projects

Postcards from America, all images via Lombard-Freid Projects

The first time I’ve seen Dan Perjovschi‘s wall drawings were at Lombard-Freid and MoMA last year. I fell in love with the brevity, the instantaneousness, the incisive punch, the cartoonish gesture and automatic nonchalance, the presentness of its cultural specificity, and the ephemeral, rebellious and temporal medium of marker on wall. All these factors were very welcoming. As a viewer I was able to join the conversation with a level of homey comfort, appreciating a voice that was critical but not overpowering, personal but reflective of the collective thought. I can imagine the process of these resulting images, the artist playing around with letters in words, a quick gesture of the hand marking a significant meaning, a simple and quick reaction to some political and cultural happening, saying much while doing little.

The current show at Lombard-Freid Projects were not wall drawings but a series of hundreds of postcard sized drawings created during his travels around the world, a satirical commentary on the artist’s stature as an “international artist”. It’s based on his 1994 series Postcards from America, drawings pasted onto cardboard, installed into a massive grid of 500 drawings. I experience a serious brain fart whenever walking into installations of massive accumulations of info, a serial concoction of sayings, figures, expressions, and opinions are overwhelming but peer into as many as you can, as personally as you can, and it’s a gratifying experience.

Perjovschi’s signature practice of wall drawings is put aside here, the temporal medium that is washed away/painted over after a show does not qualify here, making the work more pertinent/permanent, following an order as patterned by the cards. I almost wished for a more messy installation, with the cards literally jumbled and haphazardously placed around the gallery, running rampant with no clear placement, the way his wall drawings are usually installed, reflecting a thought process that is as non-linear as a daydream. The rigidity of the postcards’ placement made it less fun but still powerful in its brainstorming and aphorisms.

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