Oliver Lee Jackson is known for creating compositionally complex paintings in which figurative elements merge with abstract fields of vibrant color. He is equally accomplished as a sculptor, draftsman, and printmaker. Jackson's works do not convey a single message, narrative, or meaning. Rather, they present an invitation to slow and close looking, encouraging viewers to stake emotional claim on the works.
The authors present various perspectives on Jackson's artworks. Nijah Cunningham, Assistant Professor at Hunter College, City University of New York, considers the simultaneity of effects upon the viewer of fierceness and tenderness in Jackson's work. Harry Copper, Senior Curator of Modern Art at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, explores "parallel processes" in the complementariness of figuration and abstraction. Saint Louis Art Museum Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art Simon Kelly provides a historical view of the motivations for one of Jackson's earliest bodies of work, the Sharpeville Series. Hannah Klemm, the museum's Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, focuses on selected works on paper, highlighting his virtuosity as a draftsman and printmaker. Haywood Turnipseed, Jr., lead Telecommunications Specialist at the National Gallery of Art, offers a personal reflection on his own encounters with Jackson's paintings during his 2019 solo exhibitons at the National Gallery.
Together, the essays trace Jackson's aesthetic evolution over more than five decades and demonstrate his significance as a highly skilled contemporary artist working across a range of media.
Oliver Lee Jackson at the Saint Louis Art Museum was curated by Simon Kelly and Hannah Klemm, with Molly Moog, research assistant. The exhibiton is anchored by major loans from the personal collection of Donald M. Suggs, a close friend of Jackson's and supporter of the museum.
Dimensions: 11.1 x 9.9 inches
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