Fergus McCaffrey is pleased to present the gallery’s first solo exhibition of new work by Kathleen Jacobs at its Chelsea location from March 1 to April 14, 2018. Kathleen Jacobs: DREMS will present 12 of Jacobs’s expansive canvases, which evoke meditative land- and seascapes.
While living in China in the 1980s, Jacobs studied under traditional painters and calligraphers, spending years exploring modes of mark-making and hand-written lettering. Essentially, Jacobs learned the process of stone-rubbing, in which a calligraphic text is formed from the palimpsestic marks rubbed from a stone’s surface. When Jacobs began painting outdoors—first in the forests of Colorado, and later in the woods of Massachusetts—she decided to use tree bark as the surface on which to begin her lines and marks. Working with raw linen or canvas, Jacobs wraps and re-wraps the material on multiple tree trunks, subjecting the pieces to various gessoes and rubs, and leaves them to absorb the influences of weather patterns and the evolution of the trees themselves. The artist leaves these paintings outdoors for as long as two years to weather and mature, creating a unique surface. In the final phase, she moves the aged paintings back into her Great Barrington studio, painting and reworking the marks begun by her and taken up by her environment. The resulting paintings are complexly textured and abstract.