La Machine Molle is French for The Soft Machine, the title of a 1961 cut-up novel by American author William S. Burroughs, as well as the name of seminal Canterbury scene band, Soft Machine. After being kicked out of his own band (Soft Machine), Robert Wyatt started a new band which he named Matching Mole, a linguistic pun on the French name for Soft Machine. The images in a new series of paintings refer to the 1972 live performance of Wyatt’s group on the French television program Rockenstock. Jägel’s broad admiration for Wyatt includes his use of everyday speech, wry humor, and self-referential elements in his lyrics. There is a kinship in the way both Jägel and Wyatt bring together elements of improvisation and lyrical narrative.
In his own unique and poetic way, Jason Jägel’s work cultivates a strong improvisational component, born out of a form of autobiographical fiction, his love of music, comics, film and literary fiction. In the words of Kevin Killian, he is an “ace raconteur” and, above all, Jägel’s work tells a story. His compositions often appear as fragments where experiences, dreams, people, places, individual narratives and past experiences intersect and intertwine to create open-ended, conversational stories full of rhythm and flow. No evident beginning, middle or end, the spectator zooms in and out of situations, decoding and perceiving along the way, searching for a route to try and interpret the often ambiguous signs and signals in order to create coherence.
The stylistic form of Jägel’s spontaneous and improvisational painting is immediately recognizable. His paintings blend elements of abstract painting, comic flatness and linguistic expression into works that are dense, vibrant, and colorful. He has an impressive sense of rhythm, as well as a gift for surprising color synthesis. “I don’t want to see the colors in such a way that they foremost advertise their hue. I want to mix colors that elicit an emotional response” (JJ).
Jason Jägel was born in 1971 in Boston, MA and is based in San Francisco.
JASON JÄGEL: LA MACHINE MOLLE
Exhibition Dates: February 7 – March 27, 2020
Opening Reception: Friday, February 7, 2020 from 6pm – 9pm
WITH SPECIAL GUEST DJs: BAY AREA SOUL SOUNDS – DAVID GABRINER + JUSTIN TORRES
501 Third St.
San Francisco, CA 94107