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Ward Jackson: A Survey of Five Decades    Jan 6 - Feb 18, 2012


Opening reception: Friday, January 6, 5:00-7:00 PM

David Richard Contemporary is pleased to present A Survey of Five Decades, a retrospective exhibition of paintings, drawings and sketches by Ward Jackson (1928-2004).

Ward Jackson was an abstract painter who studied briefly with Hans Hoffman; befriended Hilla Rebay -- the curator of the Guggenheim Museum -- which later led to his position with that institution; attracted the attention of painter and critic George L.K. Morris; and was a member of the group of American Abstract Artists. Inspired by Piet Mondrian and Josef Albers, his earlier gestural work from the1950s was supplanted in the 1960s by reductive compositions comprised of hard-edged geometric shapes on square or diamond-shaped canvases, which became his signature style and best known work. As a result of that transition, he showed a group of black and white diamond paintings in 1964 at the Kay Mar Gallery alongside artwork by Jo Baer, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, Sol Lewitt, Robert Ryman, and Frank Stella in what became a seminal exhibition with respect to the early development of minimalism. Jackson had a parallel career of nearly 40 years as the archivist at the Guggenheim Museum where he worked along side Dan Flavin and other notable artists. Pursuing his passion for the New York art scene, he teamed up with publisher Roger Peskin and photographer Paul Katz in 1969 to create ART NOW New York. The publication documented the then current local gallery exhibitions with photographs and statements from the exhibiting artists, which included Jasper Johns, Brice Marden, Louise Bourgeois, Robert Smithson and other artists whose art became legendary. Eventually, the publication evolved into ART NOW Gallery Guide.

Jackson exhibited widely in NYC and throughout the United States as well as in exhibitions in Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain and Japan. His paintings and drawings can be found in numerous public collections including: The National Museum of American Art Smithsonian, Washington, D.C., Museum of Modern Art, NY, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, N.Y., The Brooklyn Museum of Art, N.Y., San Francisco Museum of Contemporary Art, CA, Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University MA, the Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Richmond, Va., Edward Albee Collection, British Museum, London, and in Germany at the Kunsthalle Bremen, Bremen, the Museum Morsbruch, Leverkusen and the Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum, Duisberg.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with essays by Lilly Wei and Stephen Westfall and a biography written by Julian Jackson—his nephew—and Rene Lynch. Lilly Wei is a New York-based independent curator, essayist and critic who contributes to many publications in the United States and abroad. She has written regularly for Art in America since 1982 and is a contributing editor at ARTnews. Stephen Westfall is a painter widely exhibited in the United States and Europe, critic, and professor at Bard College. His writing has appeared in Art in America, Vogue, The New York Times, Arts, Art News, the Partisan Review, and the New Criterion. The catalogue will also be available on-line.

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