Gerald Jackson

March 23–May 15, 2021 East Gallery

Press Release

White Columns is pleased to announce a solo exhibition by Gerald Jackson (b. 1936, Chicago.) This will be the second in a series of three recent and related exhibitions that will consider different aspects of Jackson’s prolific, now six-decade career as a multi-disciplinary artist and poet. (The first of these exhibitions took place at Wilmer Jennings Gallery at Kenkeleba House, New York between November and January 2020/21. A third exhibition will take place this coming November at Gordon Robichaux, New York.)

Jackson’s exhibition at Kenkeleba House was a “comprehensive gathering” of his abstract ‘blue green’ paintings produced between 1980 and the present. Jackson’s preoccupation with blue and green represents a continuing “examination of color relationships and their effects on the observer.” The press release for the Kenkeleba exhibition suggested: “In what could be viewed as a meditative exercise, it is Jackson’s intent to heal using the curative properties of blue green.” Jackson’s exhibition at White Columns further explores and amplifies his ongoing interest in color and our social, emotional and psychological relationships with color in a series of large-scale text drawings and a group of related collage works produced over the past few years. Alongside these works Jackson will present a group of his functional clothing works, outfits designed, made and (for the most part) worn by Jackson. Jackson’s work in fashion was adroitly described in 2003 by the art dealer Jack Tilton as “chop and paste clothing” and as “totally brilliant three dimensional funk.”

In his recent text drawings on view at White Columns, words denoting specific colors (e.g. ‘BLACK’, ‘WHITE’, ‘BLUE’, ‘GREEN’ etc.) are written on sheets of 11” x 8 ½” typing paper that are then attached and arranged into grid-like formations and structures. Suggesting a kind of language-based abstraction, or perhaps a textual description of an abstract ‘image’, Jackson’s staccato-like drawings oscillate between a form of concrete poetry and something closer to a musical or lyrical score. (One work reads: “BLACK / WHITE / WHITE / BLACK / WHITE / WHITE / BLACK / WHITE / BLACK / WHITE / BLACK / WHITE / BLACK / WHITE / BLACK / WHITE / BLACK / WHITE / BLACK / BLACK.”) In his recent figurative collage works, from the ongoing series Divine Providence, aspects of Jackson’s biography – including self-portrait images – are juxtaposed with his own writings and poetry, found images and symbols, and occasional fragments of musical scores: including both Mozart’s and Ornette Coleman’s. (Jackson had a solo exhibition in 1974 at his friend Ornette Coleman’s space Artists House at 131 Prince Street, New York.) In two recent visceral drawing works Jackson has detourned the iconic image of Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man, effectively erasing the central figure with charcoal and oil stick.

Gerald Jackson (b. 1936, Chicago) currently lives and works in Jersey City, NJ. Jackson’s history was outlined in an expansive – and essential – 2012 interview with his friend, the artist Stanley Whitney that was published as a part of BOMB magazine’s ongoing ‘Oral History Project’, which is available on BOMB’s website. After a stint in the army in the early 1960s, where he further developed his skills as a marksman, Jackson relocated from his native Chicago to New York’s Lower East Side, where he encountered and became a part of a community of vanguard artists and jazz musicians centered around Slugs’ Saloon, a now legendary jazz club on East 3rd Street that was active from the mid-1960s to 1972. After earlier studies at Chicago’s School of the Art Institute and then later at The Brooklyn Museum School, Jackson started to exhibit his own work from the mid- 1960s onwards and was represented by New York’s Allan Stone Gallery from 1968 to 1990. He has had exhibitions at Strike Gallery, Rush Arts (curated by Jack Tilton), Gallery 128, Tribes, and Wilmer Jennings Gallery-Kenkeleba, among others. His work has been included in a number of key group exhibitions including: ‘Afro-American Artists: New York and Boston’, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (1970); ‘Black Artists: Two Generations’, Newark Museum, Newark (1971); ‘Jus’ Jass: Correlations of Painting and Afro-American Classical Music’, Kenkeleba Gallery, New York (1983); ‘The Black and White Show’, curated by Lorraine O’Grady, Kenkeleba Gallery, New York (1983); ‘Notation on Africanism’, Archibald Arts, New York (1995); ‘Something To Look Forward To’, curated by Bill Hutson, Phillips Museum of Art, Lancaster, PA (2004), and ‘Short Distance To Now – Paintings from New York 1967-1975’, Galerie Thomas Flor, Dusseldorf, Germany (2007), among others. Jackson’s 1973 illustrated artist’s book of seventy-nine linoleum cuts ‘Adventures in Ku-Ta-Ba Wa-Do’ is in the collection of both the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

For further information, contact: info@whitecolumns.org

Seven mixed media collages on paper mounted on white walls in a gallery. Three mannequins dressed in spray painted and patchworked clothing designed by the artist populate the space.
Two mixed media collages on paper mounted on opposite walls in a gallery. Between them stands a mannequin in a patchwork blouse and spray painted pants.
A mannequin in a patchwork blouse stands next to a mixed media collage on white paper mounted on a white wall.
A mannequin in a patchwork blouse stands next to a mixed media collage on lavender paper mounted on a white wall.
Two mannequins in spray painted and patchwork clothing stand near four mixed media works mounted on white walls, including two depictions of the Vitruvian Man.
Two mannequins stand near four mixed media collages mounted on white walls. One wears a patchwork red flannel and the other wears a deconstructed pink jumpsuit.
A mannequin wearing a deconstructed pink jumpsuit stands near two mixed media collages mounted on white walls. The collage to the left contains the repeated words RED and BLACK.
Three mixed media works mounted on a white wall. A mannequin wearing a deconstructed pink jumpsuit stands off to the left.
Gallery interior with a white column. Three wall-mounted mixed media collages and three clothed mannequins are visible.
A mannequin in a deconstructed pink jumpsuit and a mannequin in a yellow and blue tracksuit stand in front of three mixed media works mounted on a white wall.
A mannequin in a yellow and blue tracksuit stands in between two white walls. On the right wall a mixed media collage on spray painted fabric is mounted.
A mannequin in a yellow and blue tracksuit stands near a mixed media collage on spray painted fabric.
Images and written text on spray-painted, wrinkled cream fabric, including a smiling woman, flowers, Ancient Egyptian imagery, a lucky cat figurine and the words “Divine Providence.”
Written black crayon text on a wrinkled, stained 5x4 white paper grid; The words “BLACK” and “WHITE” in an alternating pattern with minor breaks.
Images and written text on lavender paper, including a suited man, runway models, Ancient Egyptian imagery and sheet music. Repeating text: RED BLUE GREEN YELLOW and GOLD.
A mannequin wearing a red tartan flannel with a large Kente cloth appliqué and smaller indigo and khaki patches. Pants are red tartan with large salmon and olive patches.
A mannequin from the back, wearing a red tartan flannel set with fabric appliqués, including an Ancient Egyptian relief style print, a hieroglyphics print and Kente cloth.
A mannequin from the back, wearing a yellow and blue hooded tracksuit with a Japanese woodblock style floral print.
A mannequin wearing a long patchwork blouse of quilted and jacquard style fabric, corduroy and Kente cloth, with a white belt and blue jeans with spray-painted stencilled patterns.
A mannequin wearing a black button up shirt under a long red Chinese style embroidered vest with appliqués of spray painted fabric. Pants are pink with spray-painted patterns.
Images and text on a cream background, including a black figure in a fringed leotard, a rose, Ancient Egyptian imagery, the Chinese character “Ai” and the words “Divine Providence.”
Close up detail of a patchwork blouse showing jacquard style fabric, Kente cloth and a studded white belt.
Close up detail of a red tartan flannel showing Kente cloth appliqué.
Text on canvas: the words BLUE and GREEN in very large black lettering, the word RED in black lettering and the word GOLD repeated in smaller red, blue, green and black lettering.

Gerald Jackson, installation view, 2021 (Seven mixed media collages on paper mounted on white walls in a gallery. Three mannequins dressed in spray painted and patchworked clothing designed by the artist populate the space.)

Gerald Jackson, installation view, 2021 (Two mixed media collages on paper mounted on opposite walls in a gallery. Between them stands a mannequin dressed in a button down jacket and ankle- length jeans with various stenciled prints on them.)

Gerald Jackson, installation view, 2021 (A mannequin in a patchwork blouse stands next to a mixed media collage on white paper mounted on a white wall.)

Gerald Jackson, installation view, 2021 (A mannequin in a button dow blouse stands next to a mixed media collage on lavender paper mounted on a white wall.)

Gerald Jackson, installation view, 2021 (Two mannequins in spray painted and patchwork clothing stand near four mixed media works mounted on white walls, including two depictions of the Vitruvian Man and two mixed media collages on white paper.)

Gerald Jackson, installation view, 2021 (Two mannequins stand near four mixed media collages mounted on white walls. One wears a patchworked red flannel and the other wears a deconstructed pink jumpsuit.)

Gerald Jackson, installation view, 2021 (A mannequin wearing a deconstructed pink jumpsuit stands near two mixed media collages mounted on white walls. The collage to the left contains the repeated words RED and BLACK.)

Gerald Jackson, installation view, 2021 (Three mixed media works mounted on a white wall. A mannequin wearing a deconstructed pink jumpsuit stands off to the left.)

Gerald Jackson, installation view, 2021 (Gallery interior with a white column. Three wall-mounted mixed media collages and three clothed mannequins are visible.)

Gerald Jackson, installation view, 2021 (A mannequin in a deconstructed pink jumpsuit and a mannequin in a yellow and blue tracksuit stand in front of three mixed media works mounted on a white wall.)

Gerald Jackson, installation view, 2021 (A mannequin in a yellow and blue tracksuit stands in between two white walls. On the right wall a mixed media collage on spray painted fabric is mounted.)

Gerald Jackson, installation view, 2021 (A mannequin in a yellow and blue tracksuit stands near a mixed media collage on spray painted fabric.)

Gerald Jackson Untitled, n.d. Mixed media and collage on cotton 50 × 84 in. (Images and written text on spray-painted, wrinkled cream fabric, including a smiling woman, flowers, Ancient Egyptian imagery, a lucky cat figurine and the words “Divine Providence.”)

Gerald Jackson Untitled, n.d. Mixed media on collaged sheets of paper 42 × 40 in. (Written black crayon text on a wrinkled, stained 5 × 4 white paper grid; The words “BLACK” and “WHITE” in an alternating pattern with minor breaks.)

Gerald Jackson Untitled, n.d. Mixed media collage on paper 33 × 37 in. (Images and written text on lavender paper, including a suited man, runway models, Ancient Egyptian imagery and sheet music. Repeating text: RED BLUE GREEN YELLOW and GOLD.)

Gerald Jackson Untitled (Front), n.d. Two garments: Fabric appliqué on found clothing (A mannequin wearing a red tartan flannel with a large Kente cloth appliqué and smaller indigo and khaki patches. Pants are red tartan with large salmon and olive patches.)

Gerald Jackson Untitled (Back), n.d. Two garments: Fabric appliqué on found clothing (A mannequin from the back, wearing a red tartan flannel set with fabric appliqués, including an Ancient Egyptian relief style print, a hieroglyphics print and Kente cloth.)

Gerald Jackson Untitled (Back), n.d. Two garments: Fabricappliqué on found clothing (A mannequin from the back, wearing a yellow and blue hooded tracksuit with a Japanese woodblock style floral print.)

Gerald Jackson Untitled (Front), n.d. Fabric appliqué on found clothing (A mannequin wearing a long patchwork blouse of quilted and jacquard style fabric, corduroy and Kente cloth, with a white belt and blue jeans with spray-painted stencilled patterns.)

Gerald Jackson Untitled (Front), n.d. Two garments: Fabric appliqué and spray paint on found clothing (A mannequin wearing a black button up shirt under a long red Chinese style embroidered vest with appliqués of spray painted fabric. Pants are pink with spray-painted patterns.)

Gerald Jackson Untitled, n.d. Mixed media collage on paper38 × 32 in. (Images and text on a cream background, including a black figure in a fringed leotard, a rose, Ancient Egyptian imagery, the Chinese character “Ai” and the words “Divine Providence.”)

Gerald Jackson Untitled (Detail), n.d. Fabric appliqué on found clothing (Close up detail of a patchwork blouse showing jacquard style fabric, Kente cloth and a studded white belt.)

Gerald Jackson Untitled (Detail), n.d. One garment: Fabric appliqué on found clothing (Close up detail of a red tartan flannel showing Kente cloth appliqué.)

Gerald Jackson Untitled, n.d. Mixed media on canvas 36 × 42 in. (Text on canvas: the words BLUE and GREEN in very large black lettering, the word RED in black lettering and the word GOLD repeated in smaller red, blue, green and black lettering.)