Bold new territory for 'the pulps'

  "19 Kimball'' (mixed media on wood panel) by Sam Earle, in his show "Pulp,'' at Adelson Galleries, Boston, June 2-July 30.

"19 Kimball'' (mixed media on wood panel) by Sam Earle, in his show "Pulp,'' at Adelson Galleries, Boston, June 2-July 30.

 

The gallery notes say, among other things:
 

"The word 'pulp' is commonly used to describe a reduction of fruit or wood into a puree; however, it was commonly used at the beginning of the 20th Century as a word to describe popular or sensational writing.  Between 1896 and the 1950s, 'the pulps'  or 'pulp fiction' magazines, which were printed on cheap wood pulp paper, became all the rage.  The genre ranged from fantasy to humor to horror and occult, and the garish subject matter of the literature reflected the low-quality paper on which it was printed.
 
''In keeping with the tradition of pulp fiction, Sam Earle’s newest series is edgy and fearless.  In his distinctive style – layering imagery over images over image, Earle contorts the compositions of his small (7x5 inch) panels to redefine 'pulp' in the 21st Century.  ...{H}e adheres hand-painted images face down to the surface of the wood panel.  Once the acrylic dries on the panel, he dampens the back of the prints and gently wipes away the paper – turning it into pulp, and revealing a mirror image of the original pigment.
 
''The artist’s new series is in keeping with his oeuvre, which has become known for the obsessive utilization of found symbols or images from pop culture.  The 'Pulp' series ventures into a bold new territory – emoting risqué pictures into phantasmagorical narratives.  Earle’s intimate works depict brooding and sensory, sometimes erotic subjects.  The imagery is found and repurposed – often overlaid with text, paying homage to 'the pulps' of the early 20th Century.  The condensed saturation of figures forces the viewer to read the complete composition closely and far away, top to bottom or vice versa, then re-read it.  The more time one spends reading Earle’s pulps, the more is revealed underneath each layer.''