January 15th - February 12th

JANUARY 15TH, 6:00 - 9:00PM



Romer Young Gallery is pleased to present its first solo exhibition with Canadian artist Lucy Pullen, THE EFFECT EFFECT, opening on Friday, January 15th, 6-9PM. 

In his essay, WHAT IS CONTEMPORARY, Giorgio Agamben describes the contemporary as “he who firmly holds his gaze on his own time so as to perceive not its light, but rather its darkness (1)." The contemporary is precisely the person who is able to see the world in the obscurity of the present, at its visible limit – ever present and out of reach. By extension, the contemporary painter might be he or she who attempts to capture the essence of this infinite obscurity, thus making visible the elusive invisible.

The night is abstract. If the hour for classical art is mid-day, the hour of contemporary art is midnight (2). The works in this exhibition include six nocturnal landscapes painted at dusk, and three aluminum, crystalline forms. The paintings are landscapes in the classical sense, but abstractions in the contemporary sense. Bohm’s quantum theory suggests that one needs to look onto the world as an undivided whole. In this wholeness all parts of the universe, including the observer and his or her instruments, merge and unite. Painting by observation at dusk, Pullen explores this wholeness and the totality of our world as dynamic and flowing. While the paintings synthesize the individual woods, trees, mountains, and rivers, they simultaneously record their time, the contemporary hour when nature commingles with abstraction’s special darkness. Pullen paints using Payne’s Grey on aluminum, a decidedly thoughtful choice; the intermediacy of the chosen pigment shade speaks to metaphorical “shades of grey” - the difference between story and fact, the moment of diffusion where things are unending and limitless, without concrete reality, full of nuance. The world is at its visible limit both formally and conceptually. The paintings and artist are contemporary.

The sculptures are beautiful forms belonging to a family of forms known as space-filling polyhedra, solid figures with many plane faces. These pieces do not belong to the cosmos in the same capacity that the rocks, the trees, the rivers belong, however, very tangibly these forms reference crystalline stars, cosmic rays and beams of light.

Pullen is a visual artist based in New York City and Victoria B.C. Canada. Her work has been exhibited at Murray Guy Gallery in NYC; Platform Gallery in Seattle, the Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver, Luckman Gallery in Los Angeles, Art Metropole, Jessica Bradley Art & Projects and SL Simpson Gallery in Toronto, Optica in Montréal and the Eye Level Gallery in Halifax Nova Scotia. Pullen conducted independent projects as artist in residence at the Outpost for Contemporary Art in Los Angeles CA (2006); Bemis Center for the Arts in Omaha Nebraska (2001), Stramur Art Commune in Iceland (1998) and Struts in Sackville New Brunswick (1997). She received her MFA '01 from Tyler School of Art, Temple University in Philadelphia, and a BFA '93 from the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design in Halifax. She is pursuing a PhD in Media and Communication with the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee Switzerland.  Pullen is a tenured Assistant Professor at the University of Victoria in British Columbia.

1. Agamben, G., ‘What is  Contemporary’ in What is an Apparatus?,
Stanford University Press: 2009
2. Alain Badiou opened a lecture this summer, portraying art as one of four concepts along with politics, mathematics, and love.  EGS, August 2009