Paul Hackett asks a lot of questions, his artwork even more. How do we perceive what we see? How do we see what we perceive? How do those experiences form our sense of reality? And yes - how do we even frame questions, especially questions about art?
Hackett’s educational background is as an environmental psychologist, philosopher and artist. The lines of these seemingly divergent disciplines actually converge and feed into his attempts to understand perception and the experience of simply being human.
At that busy intersection of art, perceptual neuroscience and philosophy, Hackett directs a constant flow of abstract traffic where lines both meet and run parallel. He’s adamantly opposed to “naming and framing” his works. He wants to allow the viewer’s perceptions and interpretations to imbue the works with their own meanings. Art that defies the definitional confinement of titles or frames that coral lines are at odds with Hackett’s purpose of placing the viewer squarely at the center of their own experience. He wants these lines to carry us to infinity without limits.
His solo and group exhibits in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Iceland have explored the painted grid’s influence on the many facets of perception that enter our field of vision. Hackett’s current appointments are to the School of Communications at Emerson College in Boston and the Department of Philosophy at the University of Oxford, in Oxford, UK.