JESSICA RUSS

UNDERTONES

Jan 19 2023- February 22 2023

by appointment

Duane Thomas Gallery is honored to present a solo exhibition of artist Jessica Russ that will open in Tribeca on Jan 19, 2023. Jessica Russ (b.1988) lives and works in Lausanne where she has for the last few years inaugurated a process of making abstract pictures that is both familiar and entirely personal. Intensely drawn to space, line and color, the artist tackles the problem of composition by first creating repertoires of images that serve as inspiration. She is quick to dismiss the narrative content of these source images as their sole premise is to provide shapes that she likes to transform into “mental landscapes,” whose form can evoke the curves of a body, anonymous organic objects, and other forms that she intently likes to keep ambiguous.
After making a digital sketch, the artist finds an unexpected field of improvisation in the use of lines (freely penciled to the canvas) and in her palette which follows a cycle using the fortuitous remains of the mixtures prepared for previous paintings. The space where chance intervenes thus becomes a way of “involving movement in compositions that evoke the exploration of unknown terrains, where a colored cartography restores a balance between flat and saturated tints to creates a slight wobble.” For Russ the interweaving of these abstract shapes is tied to music and to the search of a “sound,” Whatever the collision of shapes may imply she prefers that the figurative aspects of the work remain difficult to name or describe; she cites as lasting influences Marcia Hafif and Georgia O’Keefe.

As she notes in her statement about her process: “Shapes become blocks of sharp colors and precise, to the point that no concession is conceivable, acrylic does not allow any repentance. The perspective is lost, the planes merge.” As unforgiving as the technique seems, almost a cruel flattening of perspective so familiar to modernism, Russ’s works reside inside multiple and disparate temporalities that she summons to co-exist in harmony on the surface of the painted canvas.
The exhibition will open in Tribeca on Jan 19, 23.

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