Oct 3 - Nov 14, 2015
Artist Henry Jackson has spent his career exploring the human condition in his paintings and works on paper. His figures exist in varying states of abstraction, never fully realized, and occasionally completely obscured in layers of pigment and wax. It is this obfuscation, combined with each figure’s isolation within the piece that drives the psychological power of Jackson’s work. As you become lost in the material web that he creates, unable to discern the beginning or end of a stroke, the figure slowly emerges, creating the disconcerting impression that it is you who are the subject and the painting the viewer.
Jackson’s seemingly intuitive handling of materials magnifies this psychological intensity, leading the viewer through a complex system of mark making and color combinations that perfectly meld evidence of the artist’s hand and the beautiful accidents that give the paintings their vibrancy. Each piece presents an explosion of color, sometimes joyous, at others frenzied, giving the impression that the figure is clawing at the surface in a desperate bid to escape. The end results are simultaneously haunting and ecstatic, so dynamic that their presence commands the attention of the room.
At the core of Jackson’s work lies the impression that the observation is not of subject but of self, that each of the distressed figures is a kind of self-portrait, in which the artist has laid out the investigation of his own psychological state with an intimate and confessional potency. It is this raw exposure that resonates so strongly with the viewer, transforming each painting into a reflection of the universal human experience, and allowing us to see the immense complexity and beauty of our own psyches.
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