Rowan University Art Gallery

Ben Polsky - Structural Process

Opening Reception: Thursday, February 1, 5:00-7:00pm

The precise and intimate drawings of Ben Polsky depict piles of rubble, and decomposing, ruined, decaying industrial structures. Many of these sites are located in and around Newark, NJ, where the artist lives and works. Polsky builds his drawings through a multi-layered process that combines technology with the more mechanical side of drawing. He begins with the simple act of walking around the city, scouting, and choosing the specific sites to render. He then records his viewpoint through digital photography, combines the images in the computer to create the desired vantage point and then transfers the image onto a prepared surface, be it mylar, paper, or gessoed panel through an intensive, detailed carbon-transfer process. The carbon-transfer process does not capture the finer, minute details, which the artist then fills in by hand, once the overall outlines of the image are complete.

Polsky's drawings speak equally to contemporary social concerns as they do to their artistic lineage and power. On one hand, they are masterful fusions of technology and the ability and intimacy of drawing to represent the real on both a grand and minute scale. On the other, they document the slow process of decay on structures that were once vibrant and possessed a meaningful contribution to society in terms of output and a connective network of history. Polsky's ruinous sites encompass an absolute connection to the here and now and a firm sense of place. Interestingly, these wrecked structures are also transported to a timeless plane where history, the implied presence of people, and an entropic process continues its cyclical existence in the blank, neutral backgrounds that surround these drawings as being both utterly themselves and more. Catalogue available.

Ben Polsky received a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1989. He has also received grants from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. He has been widely exhibited in New York and San Francisco. For more information on the artist, please visit his website.