Critics’ Picks

Arctic T.V., 2006.

Arctic T.V., 2006.


Jason Glasser

Kamel Mennour | Rue Saint-André des Arts
47 Rue Saint-André des Arts
March 6–May 15, 2006

In an authentic expression of frustration with the environmental impact of the United States, American artist Jason Glasser presents a series of drawings and paintings on paper and glass. Identifying a collision between nature and consumer culture, this small, unassuming exhibition presents images of fantastical sea creatures set within landscapes clearly impacted by global warming, pollution, and a hyperactive sport hunting culture. His seductively simple style, which infuses the bland, outdated science textbook illustrations with Raymond Pettibon’s jaded outlook, and his materials, notably the car windshields on which he paints, seem deliberately “American,” clearly identifying the target of his criticism. With the clumsiness and naïveté of Peter Blake’s ’70s illustrations of Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass, Glasser’s centaurs and unicorned dolphins, some armed with knives and guns, magically take the extinction dilemma into their own hands. At the entrance to the gallery, several of Glasser’s recent animated films, each set to an original soundtrack, strike a different note. For these works, Glasser incorporates sounds by his own band, Fruit Key, as well as music by members of Clem Snide, with whom he has previously collaborated. Films like Find Love, 2002, which presents simple stories of searching and longing, ultimately betray Glasser’s innocent hopefulness—an element of that other echt-American characteristic: optimism.