January 15 – March 12, 2017
161 Glass Street
Dallas Texas 75207
Los Angeles-based artist John Houck has developed a practice bordering on the scientific method. Photography functions as the vehicle used to create distinct bodies of work consisting of diverse media and techniques, including: computer code, simple props, pigment printers, paint, and personal objects. Houck does not take pictures, he makes pictures. His systemic process is combined with and complemented by an intentional schism—a simple fold, paint, or repeated layers of imagery creates multiple perspectives or disorienting shadows. The resulting image pulls the viewer into the picture, demanding inspection to discern between what is real and what is perceived.
The Anthologist is John Houck’s first solo museum exhibition. The title is taken from a novel by Nicholson Baker in which a poet struggles to write the introduction to an anthology. Houck’s work seeks to reconcile opposing forces—order and chaos, rational thought and emotions, function and creativity, intention and play. He establishes meaning by utilizing personal objects or items that have been given to him by friends and family, such as the driftwood log that decorated his home or the tape measurer from his grandmother’s sewing kit.
Throughout his practice Houck uses a feedback loop, a system that recycles output for further input—resulting in imagery and techniques that cross over to other bodies of work. Houck developed a fascination with painting during a 2008 residency in Skowhegan, Maine. Initially, the messy exercise of painting, even mixing the paint, functioned as a mechanism to balance the precision of constructing photographs. The experimental output was not made with the intention to be exhibited, until now. Houck presents three of these paintings back-to-back with photo-based works. Though the related works cannot be seen simultaneously, their proximity and similarity establishes a conversation between the individual works and the artist’s overall practice—revealing additional layers to Houck’s intellectually complex and intuitive creative process.
Curated by Pedro Alonzo, Adjunct Curator
For more information visit Dallas Contemporary.