February 5 - March 14, 2015
Reception: Thursday, February 5, 5-7 PM
In his fourth exhibition at Gregory Lind Gallery, Jake Longstreth continues his exploration of rural and exurban scenes. Nature—viewed through the lens of memory—is at the center of the artist’s eerily vacant landscapes. Denuded of extraneous details, the paintings evoke memories of things seen, felt, or perhaps merely driven past. The works also signal a return to oil painting and are grounded in a palpable tension between highly mediated imagery and viscerally felt experience, while examining history, memory and subjectivity, and personal and collective spatial phenomena.
Longstreth’s early work comprises photo-based paintings extracted from the American landscape, depicting examples of corporate retail architecture; the works subtly recontextualize the purpose of these buildings and posit a keen exploration of the homogeneity of suburban environments. Although his interest in spare, stark scenes is a dominant thru-line in all his work, these pieces investigate pure landscapes, composed from memory and imagination. Longstreth’s topography and palette are derived from his experience living in Los Angeles and traveling through the vast terrain of the West. He contrasts sky and land in style and technique—composing open skies with a creamy, seamless spectrum of tones, and terrestrial elements such as trees and mountains from small, stuttering brushstrokes.
Longstreth strikes a balance between a specific sense of place and a broader metaphorical perspective. Many of his works are poetic evocations of lost, forgotten, or largely ignored spaces, rendering landscapes that are as timeless as they are lyrical. Longstreth has said, “These are not literal depictions of specific pieces of land. When I've done that in the past, the paintings lack idiosyncratic qualities. I find that working in the studio and not being beholden to specific topography but instead drawing on vivid sense memory makes the work open up and breathe.”
Jake Longstreth received his MFA from California College of the Arts, San Francisco. His recent exhibitions include Particulate Matter, at Monya Rowe, NYC, Jake Longstreth and Sean McFarland at Ever Gold Gallery, San Francisco, Jake Longstreth at TRUDI Gallery in Los Angeles, and Landscape City at the Eagle Rock Center for the Arts. A recipient of the 2008 Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant and a 2007 Artist in Residence at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, Nebraska City, NE, Longstreth has been featured in Art in America, Artforum, and the San Francisco Chronicle. He currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.