Thu 9 Nov 2023 to Sat 2 Dec 2023
Artist: Robert C. Jackson
Opening reception: Thursday 9 November, 6pm-8pm
Gallery Henoch presents "That’s Unreal", Robert C. Jackson’s seventh solo show with the gallery. Jackson continues to bemuse and astonish with his humorous still life paintings that offer commentary on human experiences, aspirations, and vices.
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Robert C. Jackson’s still lifes are anything but “still.” By offering tight compositions brimming with potential movement and elements of implausibility, he simultaneously references the absurd, the comical, and the pertinent. Aiming to bend reality, Jackson hooks his audiences with scenes that have them questioning what they saw. This comes under the form of his habitual balloon dogs engaging in humanlike debauchery, but also in elements of trompe-l'œil, where the notion of play holds significance. In SHADOW and FERTILE SOIL Jackson challenges the viewer as he recreates scenes from his studio life that prompt contemplation as he blurs the lines between reality and illusion.
In this new series of paintings Jackson’s signature characters return to play a central role in the artist’s storytelling technique. These props, most notably balloon dogs, vintage figurines, and soda crates, are used to play out anthropomorphized dramas, occasionally delving into taboo subjects. Through a humorist approach, Jackson reconciles challenging themes with that of pleasure, seeing it as the antidote to the realities of everyday life. Works like SPAGHETTI and DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT evoke a strong narrative, but Jackson cleverly avoids spoon-feeding all the necessary details, echoing his belief that “art is dialog.” By using allegory and metaphor to tell his tales, Jackson plays the role of a stage director: setting the scene into motion but letting viewers decipher and interpret for themselves.
Jackson’s national exposure includes exhibitions at the Delaware Center for Contemporary Art, the Butler Art Institute, the Greenville Museum, the Brandywine River Museum of Art, the New Britain Museum of American Art, the Delaware Art Museum, the Evansville Museum of Art, the Philbrook Museum, the South Dakota Museum of Art, the Islip Art Museum, and the Hunter Museum. He lives and works in Kennett Square, PA.