Oliver Lee Jackson, Composite, 2012, intaglio print and mixed media on paper, 40 1⁄4 × 28 7⁄8".

Oliver Lee Jackson

Burning in Water

An eclectic mix of paintings and sculptures by Oliver Lee Jackson was exhibited at Burning in Water. If you’re unfamiliar with his work, know that the octogenarian artist has a rich past: Among other things, he founded in 1971 the African Continuum arts organization, a body dedicated to the support and advancement of black thinking and culture, and from 1968 to 1972 he collaborated with Saint Louis’s cross-disciplinary Black Artists Group (or BAG), befriending and working with the avant-garde jazz musician Julius Hemphill. Jackson’s show was a modest sampling from a lifetime of production by an imagination still going strong (a major retrospective of the artist’s work is scheduled to open next March at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC). All the pieces on view were infused with a broad modernist spirit. One could locate subtle references to an assortment of forebears, such as

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