Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Sam Jackson | Chronicles | May-Jun 2019

‘This is a continuation of the overall narrative arc of my practice, but also seeks to establish new ground, new discussion and new dialogue between myself and the paintings; and also, importantly, between the viewer and the work.’ - Sam Jackson

CHARLIE SMITH LONDON is delighted to announce Sam Jackson’s solo exhibition ‘Chronicles’.

Known for his portrait paintings where tumultuous text cascades upon subject and painted surface, Jackson has created his most complex body of work to date. Varying scales; patterned backgrounds; geometry; foregrounds adorned with diamanté; spray paint; and ever more expansive application of text coalesce to make intense, beguiling paintings.     

‘Chronicles’, at 162x114cm, is the largest painting that Jackson has made. ‘So Real’ rides above the defiant, bewitching portrait in blue spray paint; ‘The closest thing to living’ emblazoned over her hair; ‘Wisdom’; ‘Courage, Truth, Love’. Is this, as Graham Crowley states, a portrait ‘of the departed as if summoned by a medium’? Certainly, the ethereal portrayal in ‘I Know I Can Make It’ has ‘the appearance of an apparition’.

‘Jackson seems inevitably part of a discussion about the way any painting process carries the past along with it. He throws different speeds, shapes, processes and spanners into the works, in order to counter inevitable ideas of perfection, to create cultural congestion’, states Sacha Craddock. Indeed, the congestion of text, pattern, signs and symbols suggests urgency and obsession, as if personal outpourings and broad cultural references including poetry or song lyrics have been spat out onto the surface.

The past, or rather time, is a key component in these paintings. Jackson’s subjects often appear historical, as if elicited from a different era, but personal histories or memories prevail. ‘Say you’ll remember me’, implores the wistful subject in ‘Never Lie To Yourself’. ‘Cherish…every…moment’ we are told. Fragmented, and clashing against each other, grand narratives cohere with the thoughts, memories, pleas, confessions and exhortations of subject and artist.    

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