* highlighter pencil, fly line, glass, coffee grounds, vinyl, tea, aluminum, graphite, galvanized wire, fabric dye, walnut ink, fabric, pine,

wax, acrylic ink, stove polish, gouache, stone, tape, screen printing ink, steel, India ink, floral wire, Lenox 100 paper, coffee, thread,

brads, oil pastel, basswood, paint marker, fiberglass, walnut, matboard, stainless steel wire, found objects, cut paper, balsa wood,

music wire, wax pastel, plastic, concrete, derailleur cable and housing, liquid cement color, crochet thread, nylon, acrylic rod,

VT white marble, insulated wire, ink, foam, mason line, acrylic paint, yarn, rubber, fly dubbing, elastic. 17 x 26 x 9 feet







Max Van Pelt (b. 1989, Boulder, Colorado) is an American artist living and working in Providence, RI. “Open Lineation” presents a selection of his most recent paintings and sculptures together with a site specific installation on Rooster Gallery’s main level. Van Pelt is represented by Rooster Gallery and this is his first solo exhibition in New York.


On the lower floor of the gallery, Van Pelt unveils two new bodies of similarly sized, intimately scaled work. The paintings, colorful and intricately composed surfaces of ink, cut paper, paint, monotype prints, and graphite are diverse and responsive assemblies of geometry, experiment and illusion. Meanwhile, a series of small wire and mixed media sculptures read so clearly at eye level that one might more accurately interpret them as drawings. Presented against the whiteness of the room, they are intricate, fragile, and immediately personal. Together, the paintings seem to be as much about sculpture as the sculptures are about drawing.


On the upper floor, an ambitious installation expands the inquiry: positioning both mediums in a simultaneous act of drawing. Suddenly, there is a translation of the same language into a new scale and depth. Openly responding with elements of string, wire, wood, steel, large works on paper, concrete, and other materials, Van Pelt connects the entire space in drawing. In his two treatises on architecture, “A Pattern Language” and “The Timeless Way of Building,” Christopher Alexander poses a framework for understanding the built world in terms of the places which “live” and the spaces which do not. In Van Pelt’s case, we are no longer faced with a space, but instead a wide orchestration of highly attentive moments which Alexander might have characterized by its state of living. While the downstairs may remain a strong collection of related pieces, the upstairs is inescapable, demanding that you insert yourself within the drawing and take pleasure in the unmitigated joy of creating place.


Open Lineation is the visual artifact of an extended effort to understand and activate the relationship between drawing, painting, and sculpture. It is an experiment in communication, one where the production and description of abstract forms sows a fertile ground for observation. Regardless of the medium, Van Pelt’s work appears both microcosmic and expansive, striving to ascertain and instigate a mindfulness that connects us sympathetically to our surroundings. Layered assemblies of divergent elements, marks, colors, textures tend to converge and resolve optimistically within the necessity of cohabitation. The participation of a viewer allows these visual expressions to move from ambiguous to something specific and personal – the production richest in its potential not just to represent ideas, but to evoke them with frequency: regularly, and in appropriate tones.


Over the past three years, Van Pelt has been testing and applying a hypothesis that the relationship between sculpture and painting may be best understood through drawing. The resulting works feel rooted, not by a foundation of preparatory drawings, but in the conscious decision to let them exist as the drawing. By nurturing the directness, immediacy, and openness to experimentation found in

the experience of making marks, he has come to discover drawing more as a mindset than a medium. These inquiries transcend the physicality of each material in service of something larger: this is the calling of "Open Lineation."




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Click here for a free digital copy of Rooster's beautiful catalog!





    Please feel free to contact Max at maxwellvanpelt@gmail.com     -     Work is available for sale or commission     -     © Maxwell Van Pelt 2014 All Rights Reserved