HEATHER GAUDIO FINE ART is pleased to present “Kathleen Jacobs: SOARS”, her first solo exhibition at the gallery. The show opens on May 8th and will run through June 19th.
Jacobs embraces a curiosity with the hand-made and has a deep engagement with the medium of painting. Through a process of rigorous experimentation, she has arrived a distinctive practice that is decidedly her own.
Stapling linen canvases onto tree trunks, Jacobs rubs them with pigments and oil stick to trace their natural wood grains. She returns to them ritualistically over a period of months or years, registering the inherent patterns and grooves of the barks. Mother Nature also lends a hand to the process, exposing the canvases to light and humidity, their palettes changing as they react to the environment. When the weathered canvases are removed from the barks, they make their way into the artist’s studio. There, Jacobs continues to apply washed-out oil and acrylic paint either on the front of the canvas, or from the reverse, pushing the pigments through the weave of the material. The paintings are typically monochromatic, and she restricts her palettes to various tonalites of whites, cool shades of blues, yellows or reds. With minimal means and a sparing use of color, the works feel unhurried and offer the viewer a contemplative serenity. They are physical records of time, space, light, place and environment, and formally, they possess their inherent spatial and light perceptions.
Once stretched, the canvases are turned, orienting the rubbed impressions to run horizontally across the surface. The break from their visual source is a way for Jacobs to bridge another important aspect of her life: being outdoors while flying, kayaking or surfing. In the paintings, the repetitive linear motifs take on the semblance of thin clouds across the sky or foamy waves on water or ripples on a sandy beach. She incorporates her personal passion of piloting acrobatic planes into her artwork by titling her paintings after navigational fixes. These paintings feel timeless and meditative in their beauty, giving us pause and make us reconsider our relationship with the natural world.
Jacobs lives and works in Western Massachusetts, unencumbered by urban distractions.
Her work has been extensively exhibited and written about, and it is found in many notable collections.