From: Know-Here-This > Altman Siegel > July 9 - Aug. 26, 2022
Jessica Dickinson
From: Know-Here-With-This
July 7 - August 26, 2022
Opening Reception: July 7, 2022, 5-8pm
Altman Siegel is pleased to present From: Know-Here-With-This, Jessica Dickinson’s fourth solo exhibition with the gallery. Time and change, always central concerns throughout Dickinson’s oeuvre, are highlighted for the first time in the installation, as her work will shift and rotate in position four times throughout the duration of the show. The exhibition features four new paintings which were developed simultaneously over the course of the past year. As each work evolves, Dickinson periodically records large-scale graphite rubbings documenting the changing surface. Each finished painting produces a suite of these drawings, or remainders that record its evolution over time. Rarely exhibited in their entirety due to their scale, the shifting nature of this exhibition will allow for each painting to be presented for a period in the gallery’s main space alongside the full set of remainders.

Focusing on the sensations of time, light, and matter within shifting philosophical, perceptual, and psychological states, Dickinson is interested in how the experience of passing time can be at once physical, emotional, linguistic, and ephemeral. And, through this, she considers how painting proposes an important site of tactile and durational encounter within our contemporary environment of increasingly disembodied exchanges. Inspired by frescoes altered through chance and erosion, Dickinson works with oil on a plaster-like surface. Stages of repetitive marking and notching, aggressive chiseling, sudden removal, invisible labor, illumination, and aggregated layering become inscribed in the body of the painting. Influenced by feminist thought to dislocate hierarchical terms of the sublime, Dickinson’s sources of abstraction are derived from momentary and minor events in everyday life that interrupt and shift one’s consciousness. Shapes of light, shadow, concrete, patterns, windows, and doorways become veils, obstructions, thresholds, or openings. Invested in the overlooked, Dickinson’s work honors shifts in how what we “see” – internally and outwardly – unfolds and transforms through time.

The artist’s remainders are produced after completing a significant stage of their making, to register a visual impression of the entire surface as it changes. As sedimentary events, they materialize forms within the paintings that become invisible, partial, or erased, yet are integral to their final state. Installed directly on the wall in order from left to right, they unveil an imprint of the past within an immersive field, proposing poetic and temporal narratives. Whereas the paintings compress time and event into chromatic, luminous, and material surfaces, the remainders unfold laterally and sequentially with ghost-like topographies. Incorporating loss as a form of structure, an intimate and quiet monumentality emerges through a variety of oscillations and transitions.
The artist says of this body of work:
“These paintings are forward facing and frontal. They are open and there, they are present. A place to look with eyes in a moving body. There are multiple ways in and to get close. They are each holding in place very different moments of clarity and culminations of time. They can be open doors, windows, walls, expanses, movements, surfaces, substances, accumulations, collisions, excavations, atmospheres. Countering speeds and illuminations come to the foreground. They seem to be one thing at first and then change. “The material of the instant of time.”
The paintings only arrived here by what came before. Their remainders are on the periphery, but they are necessary. As they record the tactile surfaces of the paintings, they traverse through different tones, transmissions, remnants, intervals. Forms appear, dissolve and shift. Light moves, contracts and expands. Sometimes suddenly, sometimes slowly, sometimes almost invisibly. They can be encountered in sequence, relation, or individually. “A light here required a shadow there.” [2]
The word connecting each painting’s title is “From”. From: Know, From-Here, From/With, From: This. “From” also acknowledges the exchange between the paintings and the remainders. This was a way to structure four paintings that come from very distinct positions in time, space, and sensation where meaning is generated in everyday life. An alignment of light from a window, a digging out and out, a memory of an expanse, dirt going down a drain. Sharp becoming soft, the labor of opening what’s closed, the proximity of others, solitude with the neutral order of the window screen grid. A growing stillness, the radiance of seeing, a blue that’s leaving, the fact of morning. Arising at different pitches and specific intensities, these multiplicities are where the work comes from - but in the end they leave me and are for others. They are a place to be –a respite we've all been through a lot. It is all there for you to be in front of. “The wide life of silence.” [3]
– Jessica Dickinson, June 2022
[1] Clarice Lispector, “Água Viva,” translated by Stefan Tobler
[2] Virginia Woolf, “To The Lighthouse”
[3] Clarice Lispector, “The Passion According to G.H.,” translated by Idra Novey