A pre-eminent figure in American contemporary art since the 1970s, Richard Jackson is influenced by both Abstract Expressionism and action painting, exploring a performative painting process which seeks to extend the potential of painting by upending its technical conventions. Born in Sacramento, California in 1939, Jackson first came to international attention with a major presentation of his installation works at the Menil Collection, Houston, in 1988, followed by the 1992 exhibition, ‘Helter Skelter,’ at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art.Jackson’s work is process-oriented, and 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 Jackson calls ‘activation.’ He equips his ‘painting machines’ with a network of pipes and hoses which, when deployed, cause violent eruptions of paint that immerse the work and surrounding area. The finished installations remain in the aftermath of this extreme and unpredictable performative action.
Artist's Books and Writings