Max Van Pelt: Tendency

September 12 - November 30, 2020

We are pleased to present new works by Max Van Pelt in his first solo exhibition at Cade Tompkins Projects entitled Tendency.  The new work focuses on linear abstraction of dynamic mark making on paper which extends into three dimensions in his sculptural works.   


In the paintings and drawings, the line varies by intensity, color, medium, and perspective — an ode to fractal geometry, landscape, and architecture.   Fluorescent colors simultaneously expand and contract, shifting from a bird’s eye view to a collapse of dimensional space.


The sculptures are remarkable in their ability to aptly characterize the two-dimensional works, allowing the viewer to understand what it may be like if parts of the painting entered their physical space.  Translucent acrylic rods, colorful thread, steel, and tensioned wires emerge off the wall in delicate, dance-like gestures while casting beautiful shadows that lend further consideration to line, shape and form.  As Van Pelt explains, these abstractions are deliberately open windows by which each viewer may come to acknowledge simultaneity — in caution and accidents, tension and tenderness, polishing and incompletion, joyfulness and gravity, conflict and finding a way through. 


Max Van Pelt graduated summa cum laude from Dartmouth College in 2011, where his work in sculpture and drawing was awarded the Jonathan B. Rintels Prize for the outstanding undergraduate thesis in the Humanities and Social Sciences.  Prior to discovering his artistic intentions, Max was an archer — a thirteen-time national champion and athlete on the United States World Team.  His interests are deeply rooted in our built environment, the human condition, and regularly exploring the outdoors as an experienced whitewater kayaker, oarsman, and avid mountain bicyclist.  His work has been featured in Art in America's The Lookout, Big Red & Shiny, and on National Public Radio.