JIMI GLEASON: CROSS REFERENCE
September 21 - November 9, 2019
Cross/Reference is perhaps Jimi Gleason’s most ambitious body of work to date. Utilizing a rich vocabulary of materials and styles, Gleason has built up gossamer thin layers of iridescent paint to create a series of paintings that are engagingly enigmatic. They confirm an artist at the height of his talent, confidently exploring the power of nuance and understated expression.
We are rewarded with a series of lustrous paintings that are unexpectedly arresting. As one takes them in, there is a sense of revelry - much like the kind one might experience gazing across a lake in a predawn moment, captivated by the growing light as it caresses and undulates across the water’s surface.
Like water, Gleason’s surfaces are quietly in motion, their iridescent paints subtly shifting hues as light plays across them. In each of the canvases, sharp diagonals bifurcate the compositions, providing dramatic structural rifts to these ethereal surfaces. In a number of the paintings, the artist has continued to employ silver nitrate to activate the surfaces, further engaging one’s sense of the surrounding space.
The effect is a hypnotic and prismatic visual structure, where light, color and form intersect in ever-changing play.
Jimi Gleason is highly regarded amongst that next generation of Southern California artists carrying the “light and space” dialogue forward, where the work of art becomes more than an end in itself, but is also a catalyst - one that heightens our experience of the phenomenological properties of light, and further illuminates our sense of the space around us.
Born in Newport Beach, CA, Gleason received his BA from UC Berkeley in 1985. He studied printmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute before relocating to New York City, where he worked as a photo assistant and technician. Returning to California, Gleason was employed in the studio of Ed Moses for five years. Combining the disparate technical and compositional skills developed during his exposure to printmaking, photography and mixed media painting, Gleason is now the subject of considerable curatorial and critical attention.
Gleason’s work is exhibited in significant public institutions, including the Hammer Museum, the Long Beach Museum, the Seattle Art Museum, the Tucson Museum of Art and the Frederick R. Weisman Foundation. The artist’s paintings are actively collected by a growing number of major public and private collections around the world.