Jessica Diamond

Birmingham Museum of Art

For this show, Jessica Diamond invited the public to come to the museum and watch her make monumental wall paintings. It might seem that such an offer would seek to reinforce the mythology of creative expression by suggesting that the value and authenticity of the work depend on the artist’s physical production of it, but in Diamond’s case, to see exactly how the paintings are executed is to see the artistic process, at least in part, demystified.

The paintings are realized from drawings projected onto the wall; for all their gestural immediacy, the final process itself is more akin to working from a stencil than to making spontaneous gestures. Furthermore, the paintings need not be in Diamond’s own hand, though she always paints new work herself the first time. When she sells a wall piece, she delivers an image drawn on acetate, the right to paint it on a wall, and detailed instructions

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