South Florida Cultural Consortium, Fall 2009 - FAU Galleries
Gavin Perry is a Miami artist who is stretching the boundaries
of painting. He uses industrial surfaces and materials in his
artwork such as resin, vinyl, and neon tapes. These
contemporary materials, techniques and compositions challenge
what we consider painting today. Gavin Perry’s style and
materials reference the art movement minimalism, in which
elements of design are stripped down to their most fundamental
Characteristics of minimalism include geometric shapes, line,
and repetition, created in response to the painterly forms and
styles of abstract expressionism in the late 1960’s. Perry’s
lines are also reminiscent of some Native American weavings,
but he uses brightly colored, non-natural vinyl tapes rather than
naturally dyed textiles. Perry’s work contrasts the use of Gavin Perry. Left Three Days Ago and No One Knows
industrial materials and the handmade product. Gavin Perry's I’m Gone, 2006. Vinyl on Resin Board, 44 x 60 inches
meticulous, labor-intensive process also serves as a commentary Perry’s linear patterns are formed by layering vinyl on the growing consumer fetishism for individuality: a paradox auto stripping tape laid over blond wood supports and between handmade, but appearing manufactured. His paintings covered with a slick coat of sticky resin. are notable for their ultra-slick finish and neo-minimalist
geometries, while his work as a whole focuses on matching
industrial materials with extremely refined surfaces.
; Does Gavin Perry’s artwork force you to re-examine your notions about what painting is? Why? How?
; How do the materials interact with the composition? What other materials could Perry use to achieve a
similar effect? How would different materials change the same composition?
; How would Perry’s work be different if it were created 75 years ago? Could it have been made 100 years
ago? Which came first, Perry’s materials or his idea? Discuss the relationship between materials, process,
; Do you think art is an object or a process? Can it be both? Discuss.
; Many suggest that Perry’s work is influenced by the subtropical climate of Miami. How does nature and
one’s surroundings affect an artist/their work? How would Perry’s work change if it had been created in a
different climate? An older city? Would it change?
Painting with String – Without Brushes - Activity
Objectives: The objective of this activity is to demonstrate the process that Gavin Perry uses to create his paintings. Create paintings using the same process that Gavin Perry does to learn how he creates illusion of depth through many layers in his work.
Goal: Students will understand that painting in contemporary art does not necessarily mean paint on canvas. Understand how Gavin Perry’s art redefined painting by working in the space between geometry and craft.
Materials: various lengths and types of string, yarn, rope, shoelaces, etc., paint and sheets of white drawing paper.
Procedure: Dip the string into colorful paints and drop, press and trail it on a large sheet of white drawing paper. Continue this process by using other types of string and color to create a design or pattern that reflects Perry’s work. Keep in mind that the many layers used in Perry’s work create depth and illusion of space. After class is
finished, discuss how painting with string is similar and different to his compositions. Discuss what you think art is and if you consider Perry’s work “art.” Also, discuss how the basic elements of art are related to minimalism.
An alternative for this project is glue the painted string on the paper.
South Florida Cultural Consortium, Fall 2009 - FAU Galleries Group Discussion:
; Identify the elements of design in your project. Use design vocabulary.
; Do you think that your finished piece has a good composition? Why?
; What other materials could you use to create a geometric composition?
; What would your title be for this piece?
; Compare and contrast your work with another member of the class. What are the similarities? What are
; What are the goals of an artwork in the style of Perry? Did you have the same goals for your work?
Elements of Visual Design Vocabulary related to Perry’s paintings to be used in group discussion
Composition: the term used for the arrangements of
the elements in or the subject matter of a design. A
successful composition draws in the viewer and
pulls their eye across the whole design so that
everything is taken in.
Line: A line represents a "path" between two points.
A line can be straight, curved, vertical, horizontal,
diagonal, or zigzag. Lines imply motion and
suggest direction or orientation.
Shape: Shapes are the result of closed lines. Some
primary shapes include circles, squares, triangles
and hexagons all of which appear in nature in some
form or another.
Gavin Perry. 13, 2008. Neon tape, epoxy resin on panel. 13 x 17 x 2 in. Warm colors: yellows, red and orange we associate these with blood, sun and fire.
Cool colors include: violet, blue and green because of our association with snow and ice
Texture: the surface quality or "feel" of an object - smooth, rough, soft, etc. Textures may be actual (felt with touch - tactile) or implied (suggested by the way an artist has created the work of art -visual).
Unity: Unity refers to an ordering of all elements in an image so that each contributes to a unified aesthetic effect so that the image is seen as a whole.
Balance: Balance implies that the visual elements within the frame have a sense of weight. Large objects generally weigh more than small objects and dark objects weigh more than light colored objects.
Positive and Negative Space: Positive space is where shapes and forms exist; negative space is the empty space around shapes and forms.
Rhythm: Rhythm refers to the regular repeating occurrence of elements in the scene just as in music it refers to the regular occurrence of certain musical notes over time.
Sunshine State Standards: VA.A.1.34, VA.B.1.34, VA.C.1.34, VA.D.1.34, VA.E.1.34, LA.6789101126.96.36.199, LA.6789101188.8.131.52, LA.6184.108.40.206