Written By Josie Gulliksen
May 25, 2023 at 11:52 AM

Avery Pack Solo Exhibition at Primary takes advantage of the gallery’s raw interiors. Photo by Oriol Tarridas. Courtesy of Primary.

Having been away from painting for the past 25 years, this exhibition is a sort of comeback for Avery Pack, who has been creative since his teenage years.

As a teenager, Pack used to program and publish video games, at a time when “the video games were made by individuals. I worked in that world as a teenager, publishing my first game when I was around 13, 14 years old,” explains Pack.

Pack recalls those early days of video game design as “a very special moment when the distribution was unique, things were available through downloads.” Video games were often crafted by small teams, giving them a distinct and peculiar quality, much like painting.

Drawing from these early experiences, he crafted works for his debut solo exhibition “Wheel” at Primary in Little River.

Primary in Little River with works by Avery Pack. Photo by Oriol Tarridas. Courtesy of Primary.

When asked to explain why he chose to title the exhibition “Wheel”, Pack explains that for the last 20 years or so, he has been working in the world of bike design. “This show is kind of a conflation of all that,” Pack says.

Visual arts came first though, by way of Columbia University in New York where he had a visual arts focus and dabbled in digital visual arts. Eventually, he found himself working in bike design and only revisited painting recently.

“I’ve always been drawn to painting and I feel a special connection with it. When I’m at a Museum, I know the connection when I see it. It hits me, I learn about it and then it hits me again later, it stays with me,” said Pack.

Books Bischof and Cristina Gonzalez, a husband and wife duo of the Primary’s owners, were lured to Pack’s work by their shared passion for it. The local artist and gallery Co-owner Typoe Gran also joined in to collaborate with them.

“We were introduced to Avery about a year ago and there was always something exciting going on in his studio when we visited,” Bischof explains. “Eventually we asked him to build a body of work for us to exhibit.”

Considering himself an artist at heart, Pack began painting with real intention 3-4 years ago. During that time, he created a series of 500-600 paintings. “It was a way for me to rediscover my creative drive, regain my artistic confidence, and explore and experiment without hesitation,” shared Pack candidly.

Lap Pool, 2023 (left) Broken Fall, 2023 (right) by Avery Pack at Primary. Photo by Oriol Tarridas. Courtesy of Primary.

The exhibition at Primary, titled “Wheel”, was curated by Bischof, Gonzalez, and Gran. The trio edited and structured the works, while Avery added the final touches. The exhibit, which served as an introduction, held primary importance in ensuring that each work breathed, revealed a journey and walked the viewers through the artist’s narrative.

The carefully curated journey includes 11 colorful, dynamic artworks by Pack that incorporate his video game, bike, and visual art worlds. To make an immediate impact, the artist chose to display the work against bare concrete walls, creating an industrial yet warm space that resonates with Pack.

“The gallery is slick but really, really warm. It simulates a house, I feel it’s very different from a lot of gallery spaces. The design was definitely intentional. I love the exposed brick, the concrete block. It translates so well,” remarked Pack.

The striking contrast between color and concrete catches the eye of anyone who steps through the door and certainly left an impact on Primary’s owners.

“There’s something challenging about Avery’s art. Something that you can’t put your finger on. His work leaves just enough room for the viewer to imagine, to participate. There is a punch that we look for in an artist that we associate with Primary. Avery Pack has that and it’s exciting that this is just the beginning,” said Bischof.

View of works featured in Avery Pack’s first solo exhibition, including his larger paintings shown here: Storm Drain, 2023 (left) and Broken Glass, 2023. Photo by Oriol Tarridas. Courtesy of Primary.

It could really be called the mutual admiration society between the trio from Primary and Pack, who trusted them and their understanding of his work as well as their audience.

“I trusted them to translate what was there in terms of how they laid out the space, what they chose to present, and how to present it. I think it was very smart how they laid it out. They gave certain pieces a more impactful space. I appreciated their editing of my works,” said Pack.

Pack’s trust instincts with the trio are on point given how they feel about his work. Bischof says, “There is a confidence in Avery’s work, in his brush stroke, a maturity in his ability to pull back and not overwork a piece. There is a beauty in the details and layering of the paintings themselves, that is included in the overall concept of the exhibition.”

Despite the incorporation of skulls and such in some of the works, Pack assures that his pieces are more mischievous than dark. In fact, the artist feels they are quite playful.

WHAT: “Wheel” by Avery Pack
WHEN: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m Thursday and Friday; Saturday noon to 4 p.m.; Sunday through Wednesday by appointment. Through June 10
WHERE: Primary, 7410 NW Miami Ct., Miami.
COST: Free
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