Are: continues Jessica Dickinson’s investigation into themes of time and matter, exploring the sensation of thought and its engagement with the peripheral and minor.
Making this body of work was anchored by this sentence: ‘A light here required a shadow there.’* Each of these three paintings went through extreme darkness, shadow, or obstruction to reach different levels of clarity and demarcation. Incorporating loss as a form of structure, the residue of these actions suggest that the present time—or one’s perception of it—is framed by that which came before. The mixed media works on paper present more chromatic intensities, and are counterpoints to the paintings as they settle into more radiant or defiant tones. The exhibition title ‘Are:’ proposes a framework of investigation, in which multiple states of being and time unfold in relation to each other. — Jessica Dickinson, 2016
Dickinson works on three to four paintings concurrently, building and modulating their fresco-like surfaces over the course of a year. Each piece develops anew through the artist’s rich material engagement, shifting consideration of form, and philosophical reflection. Stages of repeated marking, scraping, covering, cutting into and revealing become latent dimensions of touch. The paintings suggest a range of time signatures, from the radically slow to the luminous present. The dense and atmospheric paintings offer an embodied viewing experience, pursuing abstraction as a space of intimacy through multiple encounters and exchanges while resisting hierarchical notions of the sublime. The mixed media works on paper expand upon the fields and delineations within the paintings, reflecting a similar working process.
Also included in the exhibition are Dickinson’s notebook drawings. Works in this ongoing series, exhibited here for the first time, are made of modest colored pencil drawings torn out of their books and re-joined with linen tape. Reductive and direct, these daily drawings give notational roots for the paintings, charting fleeting perceptions and sensations. Here, each set corresponds to a painting, and is presented stacked as Dickinson arranges them in the studio to order the strata of actions in her paintings.
For several years, Dickinson has continued to make what she calls remainders, graphite rubbings of the surface of the paintings as they go through significant changes. These pieces give sequential visibility to the subtle topography that is compressed within each work. Monumental in scale, the full sets are rarely exhibited. A small self-published artist book will accompany the exhibition that includes reproductions of these remainders.
Jessica Dickinson: Are:
Exhibition Dates: April 28 – July 2, 2016
Opening Reception: April 28, 2016 from 5:30 – 7:30pm
49 GEARY STREET, 4th floor
SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94108