May 30, 2007

Memphis Flyer Review

Carol Knowles of the Memphis Flyer recently reviewed my show as follows:

Karen Jacobs' exhibition at Perry Nicole Fine Art is another ingenious mix of culture and genre. For "Bokusho" (Japanese for abstract brushwork), this St. Louis artist painted thousands of calligraphic strokes onto hundreds of scraps of canvas collaged into complex grids.

At the center of a particularly evocative painting, Construct II, ragged rectangles float in a pattern reminiscent of a kimono with arms stretched-out. Rather than honoring biological ancestors, Construct II's nuanced background, irregular geometric shapes, and expressive gestures pay homage to abstract calligraphers and other artists who have influenced Jacobs' style, including Hans Hofmann, Mark Rothko, and Richard Diebenkorn.

Enso is the Zen symbol for circle of enlightenment. In one of Jacobs' most powerful works, Enso Red, the dark-red background looks like the page of a book that has been written on, scraped off, and used again and again. The large calligraphic gesture at the center of the painting is frayed and scumbled. Pieces break off near its nadir. Instead of suggesting Platonic or Zen perfection, Jacobs' circle brings to mind the Japanese aesthetic of "wabi-sabi," the beauty of the natural cycles of growth, decay, and death. Here is the passion and pathos of existence, of life devouring life to sustain itself.

Karen Jacobs: "Bokusho" at Perry Nicole Fine Art through May 29th

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Only a couple of small mistakes... I'm not a St. Louis artist and my marks are made on rice paper not canvas scraps. No biggie, I'm pleased. Carol called me prior to submitting the review to double check a few things and was very complimentary of my work, has been following it, promised a single page review when I have my next solo at the gallery. (May have to rethink the 'no more solo shows' declaration???) Just take it as it comes, KJ!

7 comments:

Joanie San Chirico said...

Awesome review, despite the small errors! Hope to get to see your next SOLO SHOW in person! :-)

KJ said...

Many thanks... funny how easy it seems after the fact ;-)

Annie B said...

Fantastic review! If it were in my local paper, I'd rush right out to see the show just based on these words.

Steven LaRose said...

Holy Toledo. . .
or St. Louis. . .
or wherever. . .
Great review! You got your name dropped with some heavy hitters of Modernism as well as some ancient paradigms of thought.

Because I'm already a member of the secret order of kajac2000, I'm more impressed and inspired by the fact that Carol Knowles "got" it.

KJ said...

Aw shucks, folks... ::blush::blush:: but yeah, she did 'get' it and wasn't that nice!

Jacie said...

Wow, great review! Details about your work that had never even occurred to me. Very interesting! Ya, I thought heh, I thought Karen was originally from Ft. Lauderdale. But with the military life these things do get confusing!

Joe said...

Great job Mom! Looking forward to visiting you in St. Louis!