Phillip Buntin at Poem 88

{Poem88} welcomes back artist Phillip Buntin for “phenomena,” his second exhibition at the gallery. Similar to the focus of his summer 2011 residency here, Buntin, by capturing the outlines of shifting shadows in the Poem88 space, affirms his interest in things both illusive and provisional. In this new body of work for {Poem88}, Buntin explores the experiential aspects of incompletion. In two dozen enamel paintings on plexiglass, Buntin puts forward a kind of riddle: how or whether absence can be expressed through presence and how they might be intertwined.

His curiosity about seemingly oppositional states has persisted over many years involving explorations of complex and chaotic visual manifestations. Repetitive patterns are especially appealing: from rain drops on a window to the carpet pages of Hiberno-Saxon illuminated manuscripts.

Buntin says about his attractions to this kind of infinite loop of image-making: “My thinking is directly influenced by my readings in philosophical hermeneutics and particularly the work of John Caputo and his notions on radical hermeneutics. Both recognize the openness and complexity of our experiences and the later reminds us of the difficulty inherent in all human experience and seeks to encourage remaining driven and open interpretively while facing up to the mystery of existence and our incomplete understandings.”

In Buntin’s philosophy, incompletion affords even greater possibilities for re-evaluation. “Put simply, I am interested in how we come to terms with complexity and how complex phenomena always, on some level, elude our grasp. The balance is struck by driving the images to the point of elusiveness, through fragmentation, the degree of complexity, or obfuscation of various sorts. Subsequently, the works are shelved, propped up and leaning against the wall, as a gentle reminder of this provisional nature of understanding.”

Buntin is an Associative Professor at Kent State University in Ohio; in August 2010, he was an artist-in-residence at {Poem88}.

Through Feb. 28.

1100 Howell Mill Road, Suite A03
Atlanta, GA 30318

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