Jon Widman “Relaxation Sensation”

Dates: Oct 23 – Nov 21, 2009
Opening reception: Oct 23, 2009, 18:00 – 20:00

Taka Ishii Gallery Kyoto is pleased to announce our second solo exhibition with New York based artist Jon Widman (born in 1972).

“Relaxation Sensation”, the title of Jon Widman’s show, is comprised of four paintings, multiple drawings, and a sculpture. The new body of work explores the space between tension and tranquility. The drawings and paintings invoke a contemplative, untroubled state by continuing the consolidation, rearrangement, and reexamination of information and images from his personal collection of books. The painting and sculpture of stacked books examine the meditative quality of book pages shown minus words which can disturb.

The small painting and sculpture both act as thoughtful, reflective moments in the show. The painting titled “Pages #2”, shows stacks of paperback books in shades of white with hints of color from the cover or back pages, as well as black from the space between the books. The repetitive pages represented by the shades of white create a quiet tension. The sculpture titled “Alter” is composed of a 30”x30” piece of paper completely covered with black graphite, a milk crate, spray-painted white centered on top of the paper, and a stack of carefully chosen books also painted white. The blackening and whitening of the various components strips the sculpture of its original content and renders it neutral, making a kind of even-handed and serene statement.

The small and large drawings in the show are tightly rendered graphite representations of various pressure points on our bodies, as well as a scene of sky and ocean. The pressure point drawings are meant to engage the viewer to vicariously experience the release of energy stored at these points, thus facilitating healing of mind and body. The large drawings of sky and ocean present a place of meditation and tranquility.

The three large paintings, titled “Ripples” and installed side by side, begin with a highly saturated image of a beach scene. The other two paintings of the same exact image slowly become more blurred through value changes, creating “a ripple effect” where one event produces further events.

Widman’s ongoing interest in the ebb and flow of tension and calm are reflected in this exhibition. In its totality the “Relaxation Sensation” investigates these issues through meticulous drawings and paintings created by the very physical act from which arise from the artist’s own bodily and emotional tension. The final result is a sense of quiet that follows a time of turbulence.