DC Moore Gallery is pleased to present Yvonne Jacquette: The High Life, an exhibition of recent paintings, pastels, and collages featuring the aerial views that define the artist’s practice. Working from initial pastel sketches done on-site, Jacquette’s drawings and meticulously rendered paintings featured in the exhibition, illuminate the landscapes and cityscapes that encompass her life: New York City, Maine, Colorado, Rome, and Tuscany. A catalogue with an interview by Lilly Wei accompanies the show.
Jacquette uses her distinctive bird’s-eye view to arrange powerful compositions, depicting well-known buildings, bridges, and neighborhood intersections with an acute attention to architectural detail, or identifying rural scenes subject to the dangers of encroaching civilization. Following a trip to Hong Kong in 1990, Jacquette began incorporating composite viewpoints into her work, realizing she could better express the city’s many layers of complexity by creating new spatial configurations through multiple perspectives. Since then, she has continued to base her paintings on pastels made from direct observation, enlivening them with heightened color, persistent repetition, and manipulation of light, scale, and perspective.
In “What the Ground Looks Like: Yvonne Jacquette and Perceptual Realism,” Bill Berkson writes, “Jacquette’s realism is, so to speak, ‘time-based.’ The glimpses it evokes are intermittent, prolonged or quick. In layered nanoseconds, the picture’s light of moment appears elaborate and dense. Painted into the present, it keeps, as Jacquette says, ‘a contemplative kind of time.’”
Jacquette’s compositions encourage a meditative act of looking. Views are fluid and changeable, based on intuition, chance, and the fleeting nature of perception. “I’m not painting reality but what I’m perceiving and what I enjoy perceiving,” she says. Her use of light simulates selective memory, accentuating portions of a scene that become natural focal points. Whether they are rural or urban, done from the vantage point of an upper floor of a building or a helicopter in flight, her works evolve from her intense methodical process – looking, sketching, remembering, and finally rendering with pastel and paint.
In 1983, The St. Louis Art Museum held Jacquette’s first major museum exhibition. A comprehensive traveling retrospective, Aerial Muse: The Art of Yvonne Jacquette, originated at the Cantor Center for Visual Arts, Stanford University, in 2002. In 2008, the Museum of the City of New York organized Under New York Skies: Nocturnes by Yvonne Jacquette, shown concurrently with Street Dance, an exhibition of her late husband Rudy Burckhardt’s photography.
Yvonne Jacquette lives and works in New York City and Searsmont, ME. Her work is included in many public and private collections, including those of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL; Brooklyn Museum, NY; Cleveland Museum of Art, OH; Columbus Museum, OH; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; Museum of Modern Art, NY; Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY.