Jordan Kasey

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What is my work about?

My work explores what it feels like, physically and spiritually, to be part of the Earth. Working with the figure on a large scale to lend it a sense of monumentality, I avoid portraiture and narrative, focusing instead on capturing a psychological state and a feeling of dissolving into one’s surroundings. We are porous, breathing, absorbent; my work deals with what this implies regarding our interactions with elements of landscape and other people.

 

Artist Statement

We are porous, absorbent beings, simultaneously ingesting and dissolving into the world around us. I make large-scale figurative oil paintings that explore this experience, physically and spiritually.

I conceive of how a painting will feel before envisioning how it will look. Centered on universal sensations – anxiety, strength, calm – my work presents a contemplation of timeless, atemporal human experiences. I seek to illuminate subtle, internal states that would be lost in a narrative scene.

Anonymous, monumental figures with rock-like flesh spill out over the edges of the canvas. They are at once eternal and intimately connected with the Earth, built with light and shadow. Slivers of obscured elemental landscape test the larger-than-life figures:  “What does it feel like to be in a place like this? How should this space be occupied?” With paint brush and pallet knife, I bury a rough underpainting under layers of revision until a resonance between figures’ gestures and their surroundings is revealed, reverberating with answers these questions.  

Only recently have my figures taken on gender and colors that resemble flesh tones. The evolution from rocks to blob-like people to recognizably human forms represents a conceptual shift from the personification of inanimate landscape elements to an exploration of how these elements are connected to us, as well as our social experience. Following from this, the presence of multiple figures has also developed. I am exploring the tension and distance between persons occupying the same space but each in their own separate world.

EDUCATION

2008 BFA Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2015
(upcoming exhibition) Michael Jon Gallery, Miami, FL

2012
Paintings, Whole Gallery, Baltimore, MD

GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2015
Michael Jon Gallery, Detroit, MI
In the Heat of the Night, Castor Gallery, New York, NY
Tide Pool, curated by Alex Ebstein, Greenpoint Terminal Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

2013
Rooms Fall Apart, MAP, Baltimore, MD
From Joy to Terror, School 33, Baltimore, MD / Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, Wilmington, DE

2012
Puss Fust, D-Center, Baltimore, MD

2011
Paintings on Walls, Current Gallery, Baltimore, MD
Scapescape, Baltimore, MD

2010
The Fantastical, Project 4, Washington DC

2009
Size Matters, Load of Fun, Baltimore, MD

2008
Inside Out, Current Gallery, Baltimore, MD

AWARDS
2013
Sondheim Award Semi-Finalist
Individual Artist Award in Painting, Maryland State Arts Council

2012
Runner-up, New York Field Projects, show #10

2010
Individual Artist Award in Painting, Maryland State Arts Council

PUBLICATIONS
2013
New American Paintings, N. 106