Micheal Madigan | The Dearest Sense
James Jansma | Re-formations
April 7 - 29, 2018| Reception: Saturday, April 7, 6 - 8 pm
Michael Madigan evokes places but does not depict them; rather, his abstract paintings serve as "documents of memory." In these works—which mark the 20th anniversary of his wanderings—Madigan shares, for the first time, his photographs of the places that inspire his art. Calling the photographs "memory prompts," he explains: "I use them as guideposts, as sequence reminders, and as specific jolts to the 'why and when' of the events and place references in the paintings." The result is at the core of this exhibition: seeing how the external world (that Madigan captures in his thousands of photographs) interacts with the internal act of remembering (that he evokes in his paintings).
Madigan’s work is in numerous collections including The Carnegie Institute, Musee de Beaux Arts, and nearer to home Bristol - Myers Squibb, Sandler O’Neil, and Johnson & Johnson. An avid traveler, he has been an artist-in-residence in Ireland and Italy.
Jansma’s "revisiting" is of a different nature. As he puts it: "In this exhibition, I am quite literally revisiting pieces from past work. Objects in some ways not fully resolved - now reworked, reformed and reglazed until they 'feel' complete." Both the vessels and wall panels on view show this process: the repeated layering and subtractive removal of clay, as well as glaze materials fired multiple times over. The resulting surfaces are heavily built and layered, departing from the original and taking on their own life. Describing this somewhat unpredictable process, Jansma says that his earthenware is not a representation of the natural world, but rather an evocation of "the underlying tumultuousness of nature itself."
Jansma, who received his BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and his MFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, served on the faculty at Princeton University in Visual Arts, where he taught the Ceramics Program from 1992-2003. He’s a four-time Fellowship recipient from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, most recently this year, 2018. He maintains a studio where he resides in Hopewell, NJ.