Oakland

Glenn Jampol, studio exhibition:

Glenn Jampol's studio

In Glenn Jampol’s large paintings, formally and emotionally complex, a dialogue is established between immense, illusionistic forms and broad, painterly swaths of color. Jampol successfully synthesizes the gestural, intuitive manipulation of paint and the illusionistic depiction of an object floating in clear, deep space. The pastel prettiness of his earlier work remains, but it has been ameliorated by his strong compositions.

A few years ago Jampol made pieces in which he combined constructions and found objects with painted canvases. These three-dimensional works poked fun at Renaissance perspective. The results were interesting though somewhat self-indulgent. As is the case with many young artists, Jampol felt compelled to demonstrate his technical prowess too strongly. He has not totally elevated personal over historical imperatives in his use of esthetic conventions. In his latest work, however, he has eliminated extraneous constructed elements. He now devotes his considerable energy to elucidating the picture plane.

Each 8-by 10-foot painting depicts a geometric form or forms, such as a skewed cube or interlocking boxes. Gestural strokes, fuzzy fields and vertical drips exist alongside these perspectival objects. The optical interaction between the geometric form and the loose, painterly configurations confound attempts to focus on any one portion of a painting. Forms and colors pop out from the field, or recede into it. Colors are layered. Bands of color, drips or puddles, appear to lie deep within the picture space or right on the surface. The geometric shapes and the stains and brushy bands of lush color form a well-integrated unit.

The effulgent physicality of these large canvases evokes a visceral response. The openness, brightness and clarity are indicative of Jampol’s L.A. origins. Aspects of the Southern California environment, like the metallic, candy-bright tones of customized cars, exert both a conscious and unconscious influence on his eccentric palette. Jampol’s use of color is free and very sensual. Pink, mauve, green, orange, chrome yellow and crimson interrelate with linear elements in the paintings. The work mediates between optical and pictorial space.

In several small drawings Jampol uses formal devices similar to those in the paintings. These ambitious compositions, though, are over-worked, and come across as fussy and contrived.

Joanne Dickson