942 W. Lake St. Chicago, IL 60607                p 312.226.8984                c 773.458.3150                packer@packergallery.com

Jerry Bleem

           

           

           

                 

           



From a distance, Jerry Bleem's sculptures are elegant, curved shapes. Possessing various degrees of formal complexity, these works sit quietly, Zen-like, and, as the viewer approaches, gradually reveal their elaborate surfaces. At first appearing stitched and tactile, when the steel staples are recognized as the mark-making device, the sculptures turn from soft to prickly. In effect, Bleem creates a skin that separates inside from outside. Openings of various sizes invite visual or imagined exploration of the contained space.

The densely stapled materials reveal themselves with various degrees of ease. Bleem uses fish scales, beer cans, plastics, blueprints and even pages from a book printed in 1709. No armatures or adhesives are used in the construction of individual sculptures. Rarely valuable, sometimes transformed and always cut into small pieces that allow the artist to negotiate a variety of bends and twists, these connected and embellished bits of matter document a slightly unnerving aggression. Jewel-like, these small-scale sculptures invite close examination and, by extension, challenge one's ability to perceive.