Art in General presents Without Poems, by Luis Jacob. The artist’s first solo exhibition in the US features a series of works that explore absence and authenticity in terms of pictorial representation, the legacy of modern art, and the self and others. These works call on the viewer to consider what may lie beneath the surface of the “empty picture,” and what new forms of real and unconscious knowledge may lay dormant in such minimal propositions.
Over the past decade, Jacob’s diverse practice has addressed issues of social interaction and the subjectivity of aesthetic experience. Working in video, installation, sculpture, and photography, as well as actions in the public sphere, Jacob’s work is often derived from research on a wide variety of subjects. In bringing together unlikely referents, Jacob invites a collision of meaning systems that destabilize our conventions of viewing and open up possibilities for participation and the creation of knowledge.
Jacob’s Album IX, newly created for this exhibition, reconstructs an uncanny narrative of recent art history. Album IX consists of dozens of images culled from a variety of books, magazines, and other publications. These images are montaged together in plastic-laminate panels, and hung sequentially in the gallery in the form of an “image bank.” Through processes of visual association, the images of Album IX compose a poetic narrative around various themes: reductivism in painting and the modernist tradition of creative rupture; base materialism and the aesthetic sublime; embodiment and the monochrome. Using imagery excised from published sources, Album IX becomes an invitation to construct associative narratives about artistic experience by means of the visual material that surrounds us in the expanded cultural environment.
Luis Jacob’s work has been presented in numerous international group exhibitions including Haunted: Contemporary Photography/Video/Performance, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2010); Animism, Extra City Kunsthal Antwerp; Kunsthalle Bern (2010); Dance with Camera, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia and the Contemporary Art Museum, Houston (2009-2010); If We Can’t Get It Together, The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto, Canada (2008); The Order of Things, Museum voor Hedendaagse Kunst, Antwerp (2008); and Documenta 12, Kassel (2007). His solo exhibitions include the Städtisches Museum Abteiberg of Mönchengladbach (2009), the Hamburg Kunstverein (2008); Platform Seoul, PKM Gallery, Seoul (2008); the Musée d’art de Joliette, Quebec (2008); the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery of the University of British Columbia (2007), and the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (2005). In June 2010, Jacob presented the first of a three-part touring mid-career survey exhibition, Luis Jacob Tableaux: Pictures at an Exhibition, at the Darling Foundry (Montréal); the exhibition will travel to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Toronto and to Vancouver. Jacob lives and works in Toronto.