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James Juthstrom (1925-2007) REDISCOVERED: Paintings from the Loft

Westwood Gallery
568 Broadway, Suite 501, 212-925-5700
September 15 - November 14, 2009
Reception: Thursday, September 17, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

Westwood Gallery is pleased to present a retrospective exhibition of 25 works of art representing the rediscovery of James Juthstrom (1925-2007). Juthstrom was a dedicated artist who lived and worked in a SoHo loft for 50 years creating paintings, drawings, etchings and sculpture ranging from abstract to figurative. This reclusive artist moved in the circle of New York School artists and abstract expressionists.

In the 1950’s Juthstrom studied at the Brooklyn Museum Art School focusing on line drawings and color relation similar to Milton Avery. Professor Bill Kienbusch (Modernist painter 1914-1980) described his work as ‘very exciting,-authentic, true conviction’ and Professor Reuben Tam (American Landscape painter, 1916-1991) wrote “Upon entering your exhibition I stood in a wonderful golden world where everything was radiant, strong and mysterious”. Juthstrom was recognized by critics early on and was included in numerous museum group exhibitions, including Whitney Museum of American Art, The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Detroit Institute of the Arts and Brooklyn Museum. He also had several solo exhibitions at galleries, including Gallery G in New York, which received a review in the New York Times, Paul Schuster Art Gallery in Cambridge and Landmark Gallery in New York.

In the 1960’s through 80’s Juthstrom explored abstract expressionism, spending countless hours painting an infinite maze of colored circles, filling canvases up to twenty seven feet long. He applied various strokes or patterns with hidden formations visible only under light. His paintings reflected a fascination with the cosmos, mathematical formulas and biology, interspersed with personal anguish in his passion for art.

In addition to large scale canvas paintings, Juthstrom worked extensively on paper and board. The paintings and drawings on paper embody Juthstrom’s progression throughout several decades. He also sculpted in wood, marble and metal, reducing figures to simple torsos and experimenting with geometrics.

The paintings of the later period, 80’s and 90’s depict floorboards in his loft, with mysterious figures lurking in doorways or individuals engaged in a moment of contemplation. These figurative paintings, which followed years of abstract work, seem to be cathartic for the artist. The personal incidents in Juthstrom’s history represented a source of stimulation in his work, such as the time he was hit be a taxi and saw stars, or when a girlfriend disappeared never to be seen again.

In the last 30 years of his life Juthstrom removed himself from the commercialization of his artwork, even though he could have had representation. Juthstrom turned away from the art world, possibly due to fear of success or a jaded view of the business of art -- his truth was in the creation of art.

Juthstrom died in May of 2007, leaving behind a legacy of his lifetime dedication. Since the release of his estate collection in fall of 2008, museums and collectors are reviewing the artwork for acquisition and discovering the history of this brilliant artist.

Westwood Gallery exclusively represents the artwork from the Estate of James Juthstrom (1925 – 2007)
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