A RETROSPECTIVE EXHIBITION: Selected work in different media by Jesse Wright
The exhibition contains a selection of art work in a variety of styles and media from a 54-year period. It is not comprehensive, but presents selected work by Jesse Wright in six sections.
In a sense these works present a sort of spiritual odyssey. Beginning with observations reporting on the beauty and the diversity of creation by means of drawings, paintings and photographs.The exhibition shows Wright’s quest for an underlying beauty of nature which in turn leads him to his interest in totally abstract paintings.
The first section of the exhibition are drawings from the early 1960s. The drawings present images of locations where Wright pursued his study as a Jesuit. One large colored drawing present an exuberant Lions Club parade in small town America. Another segment of the exhibition presents landscape paintings from that same era.
A third part of the exhibition contains prints from Wright’s time in New York at Columbia in the late 1960s. Three of the prints are based on the designs for fluorescent light box paintings Wright was doing at the time. A collage and an etching from the same period explore an architectural theme.
Over a period of 30 years, Wright has explored with his camera the natural beauty of Northern Lower Michigan, and, in particular, images of the Little Sturgeon River, a small trout stream. Not only did he record the beauty of the stream, but often scenes would also inspire poetry. There are two of these double media works in the exhibition. On occasion Wright was lead by this mystical landscape to a sort of experience of the presence of God in nature.
Urged by his long time friend, Terry Netter, Wright started painting again in the early 2000s. This was manifested in two directions. A fifth part of the exhibition explores Jacksonville’s Springfield where Wright had a studio. The crumbling, desparate beauty of the neighborhood inspired collages of actual debris from the area as well as photographs of its forlorn beauty.
The final segment of the exhibition explores the second direction for Wright, abstract painting motifs. Two of the paintings, one in four shades of yellow and another in four shades of purple, are parts of series of eight paintings meditatively exploring the possible combination of four different shades of a particular color. Two painting are woven abstract patterns which have become for Wright a type of sketch that has led to paintings often on a much larger scale. The latest painting in the exhibition is a twelve color exploration of repeated patterns that create even more stunningly beautiful multiple series of these patterns.
A Retrospective Exhibition
Paintings, Photographs and Drawings by Jesse Wright. In Taliaferro Hall, June 2, 2019 through July 31, 2019.
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