‘richard jackson works’ on show at hauser & wirth zurich 

 

A pre-eminent figure in American contemporary art since the 1970s, Richard Jackson is influenced by both abstract expressionism and action painting. His work explores a performative process that extends the potential of his chosen medium by upending its technical conventions. Returning to Hauser & Wirth Zurich’s gallery on Limmatstrasse this September, Jackson will debut an interactive ‘Shooting Gallery’ (2020), the most recent example of his ‘painting machines’ which will be activated by the artist in the ground floor space. In addition, the exhibition presents a survey of his neon works from the past 30 years, works on paper and a new installation titled ‘1000 Pictures’ from the artist’s seminal stacked painting series, consisting of one thousand painted canvases that he made by hand.hauser & wirth celebrates richard jackson's creations from the past 30 years

installation view © Richard Jackson | image © Stefan Altenburger Photography Zürich
courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth

 

 

Throughout his career, Richard Jackson has produced site-specific installations that relay a preoccupation with the painting process. The structural aspect of his installations involves a high level of craftsmanship and engineering; however, the final application of paint is generated through an automated process which he calls ‘activation.’ He often equips his ‘painting machines’ with a network of pipes and hoses which, when deployed, cause eruptions of paint that immerse the work and often the surrounding area. Jackson’s aim has always been to stretch the limits of the medium of painting and to challenge its conditions and working methods: ‘It is my idea to try to expand painting, not just in size but to see how far it could be extended or pushed. I don’t feel my work as a criticism of painting but an optimistic view of what it could be. I felt then and I still feel that painting doesn’t need to be an area of art described by the materials that are used,’ he says.

hauser & wirth celebrates richard jackson's creations from the past 30 years

Art Fair Party (2014) © Richard Jackson | image © Fredrik Nilsen
courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth

 

 

celebrating jackson’s painting and neon creations

 

For this exhibition at Hauser & Wirth, Jackson has created the installation ‘Shooting Gallery’ (2020), an impressive structure made during lockdown in his studio in Los Angeles. Recreating a fairground shooting range inspired by Swiss and American carnivals, Jackson responds to the high-mindedness of painterly practice by repositioning painting as an everyday experience. The artist shoots a paintball gun onto a targeted canvas to create an original painting whilst tiny metal creatures around the edges of the canvas are pulled by a mechanical chain.

 

Despite the craftsmanship that goes into creating the structure of the ‘Shooting Gallery’, Jackson is primarily interested in the process of creating a work of art, rather than its object quality. With the viewer left to grapple with the aftermath of his activation, the artist states that his workis evidence of a work performed, of process’. 

 

The exhibition also presents a survey of his neon series from the past three decades, including new works made in 2022. Mounted onto the gallery wall or positioned on plinths, the neon signs flash with puns or statements that engage with the artist’s longstanding interest in hunting culture and its vernacular, seen in works such as ‘HOTSHOT’ (2022), ‘Big Pig’ (2007) and ‘deer beer dick duck’ (1999). In ‘Ain’t Painting a Pain’ (2009), the word ‘PAINTING’ lights up in multiple stages, offering an ironic comment on the heroic pretensions associated with the medium, whereas works such as ‘Art Fair Party’ (2014) are a direct and humorous critique of the structure of the commercial art world. In addition, a selection of technical drawings of the neons and other works are on view, showcasing Jackson’s commitment to executing complex structures himself.

hauser & wirth celebrates richard jackson's creations from the past 30 years

PROGRESSPROGRESS (2022) © Richard Jackson | image © Stefan Altenburger Photography Zürich
courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth

 

 

Jackson’s DIY approach is no better exemplified than in his renowned ‘Stacked Paintings’, a series that the artist has worked on for the past 50 years which offers a crucial insight into his expansion of painting. For this exhibition, the artist has created a new work titled ‘1000 Pictures’ (2022), whereby he individually stretches, paints and stacks a thousand canvases by hand, creating a work which collapses distinctions between painting, sculpture, installation and performance. He denies any sort of pictorial representation from the canvas’ surface through stacking the paintings face down whilst wet, also transforming the commodity-element traditionally associated with painting. Ultimately, for Jackson, paint is not a tool used to create a representational image, but a ubiquitous liquid which is spurted, splattered and sprayed onto his installations.

 

The ‘Richard Jackson Works’ show — running until December 23, 2022 — is thus a testament to the artist’s pioneering and subversive creative process which continues to fuse architectural and sculptural concerns in order to explore and energize the limits of painterly practice.

hauser & wirth celebrates richard jackson's creations from the past 30 yearsHOTSHOT (2022) © Richard Jackson | image © Stefan Altenburger Photography Zürich

courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth

hauser & wirth celebrates richard jackson's creations from the past 30 years

installation view © Richard Jackson | image © Stefan Altenburger Photography Zürich
courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth

hauser & wirth celebrates richard jackson's creations from the past 30 years

installation view © Richard Jackson | image © Stefan Altenburger Photography Zürich
courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth

hauser & wirth celebrates richard jackson's creations from the past 30 years

installation view © Richard Jackson | image © Stefan Altenburger Photography Zürich
courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth

hauser & wirth celebrates richard jackson's creations from the past 30 yearsinstallation view © Richard Jackson | image © Stefan Altenburger Photography Zürich

courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth

 

 

 

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Big Pig © Richard Jackson | image © Stefan Altenburger Photography Zürich, courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth
Big Pig © Richard Jackson | image © Stefan Altenburger Photography Zürich, courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth
Big Pig (2007) © Richard Jackson | image © Stefan Altenburger Photography Zürich, courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth
Big Pig (2007) © Richard Jackson | image © Stefan Altenburger Photography Zürich, courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth
Dick's Buck Buck's Dick (2006) | image © Stefan Altenburger Photography Zürich, courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth
Dick's Buck Buck's Dick (2006) | image © Stefan Altenburger Photography Zürich, courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth
installation view © Richard Jackson | image © Stefan Altenburger Photography Zürich, courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth
installation view © Richard Jackson | image © Stefan Altenburger Photography Zürich, courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth
5050 stacked paintings (detail) © Richard Jackson | image © Thomas Bruns, courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth
5050 stacked paintings (detail) © Richard Jackson | image © Thomas Bruns, courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth
installation view © Richard Jackson | image © Stefan Altenburger Photography Zürich, courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth
installation view © Richard Jackson | image © Stefan Altenburger Photography Zürich, courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth
installation view © Richard Jackson | image © Stefan Altenburger Photography Zürich, courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth
installation view © Richard Jackson | image © Stefan Altenburger Photography Zürich, courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth

project info:

 

name: Richard Jackson Works 

location: Hauser & Wirth Gallery, Limmatstrasse, Zurich

running until: December 23, 2022