Description of the Richard Jackson exhibit Big Ideas: Richard Jackson’s Alleged Paintings currently showing at the Crocker Art Museum.
Big Ideas: Richard Jackson’s Alleged Paintings is at the Crocker Art Museum April 28 to August 25, 2019. This is the first local showing of Sacramento-born Jackson’s artwork in more than 30 years.
The exhibit consists primarily of works created over the last twenty years.
Jackson has an unconventional approach to painting – to say the least. Both his sense of humor and sharp wit is evident in his work.
As I viewed the exhibit on opening day I found it very helpful to read the accompanying description to gain a better understanding and appreciation of each piece.
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Some of Jackson’s works can best be described as “action paintings” because they have moving parts or were crafted to be activated to squirt or dribble paint.
The current exhibit includes several very large installations. Pump Pee Do, for example, is 132x240x240 inches in size. The artwork utilizes fiberglass, pumps, buckets, acrylic paint and MDO plywood.
According to the artist the title Pump Pee Do is a pun intended to sound like the name of the French institution in which the work was first shown: Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. In Pump Pee Do several grizzly bears (the official state animal of California) stand in front of urinals – and some of the bears have urinals for heads.
The use of urinals in the work is meant to bring to mind French-American artist Marcel Duchamp’s 1917 Fountain, and the debate Duchamp triggered regarding what is art.
What is or is not art remains a topic of discussion today. I personally don’t think the question has a definitive answer – do you?
Fountain was a readymade porcelain urinal signed “R. Mutt 1917” that Duchamp submitted for an exhibition of the Society of Independent Artists at The Grand Central Palace in New York. In Duchamp’s presentation, the urinal was resting on its back as opposed to its usual upright position. The original work has been lost.
Richard Jackson – The Artist
Richard Jackson was born and raised in Sacramento. He studied art and engineering at Sacramento State from 1959 to 1961. It was at the Crocker Art Museum in 1961 that Jackson held his first solo exhibition. Since that time his work has been shown at museums and other venues around the world.
Jackson moved to the Los Angeles area in 1968. In addition to his artistic endeavors, Jackson taught sculpture at UCLA from 1989 to 1994.
While Jackson has lived in the Los Angeles area for decades, he still has connections to the Sacramento region.
I will be attending a talk by Richard Jackson next weekend to hear him speak about his process, inspirations, and definition of art and art-making. It should be very interesting afternoon – after which I plan to view the exhibit for a second time.
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Have you viewed the exhibit? What comments would you add?
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