For Xylor Jane’s second solo exhibition at CANADA the artist has, after a career set mainly in drawing produced a suite of magnificent oil paintings. The paintings, like the drawings she is known for, are built around an index of mark making that use both the logic of grid pattern, mathematics and the abstract release of color. The paintings use a base mark or stroke that the artist describes as a one loaded brush. Each mark is laid into the field with specificity of days on a calendar. The marks vary in hue along the axis of the grid and the effect is a subtle shift that reminds us that each mark is a painting within all paintings.
Deriving her patterns from arithmetic exercises (such as the Fibonacci Series or prime numbers), she deals in both complexity and simplicity, finding hidden curiosities and subtle patterns amidst swarms of numbers. Her process is one of extreme rules and parameters. Yet these paintings do not bore the viewer with concerns of how they were made. Experiencing Jane’s work instead tangles the act of looking and the act of thinking to a point that verges on the spiritual. In spite of their rules and rigor, the paintings create a space that is undone, unknown or at least beyond what we think we know, leaving us in math where we once stood in life.
Following the familiar seasons, each of these new paintings is marked for a clockwise turning at the solstice and equinox; however, Dying Everyday finds its center “out of true” in the moody and methodical experience of Xylor Jane’s own days. These paintings map time, expanding and contracting, following the sun and the clock. The beginning and end points are both consistent – Monday is always yellow – and mysterious – Why is Ruin 11.22 years? In each of the square oil paintings on panel, a freshly loaded brush stroke of paint holds one day. The grand total of 55,511 strokes tic tocks 151 years. The days move out from distorted centers. The rainbow color spectrum is carried over and then destroyed. In all these processes rigid and intuitive Jane’s time viscerally and systematically expressed.
Xylor Jane has been toying with time for several years with annual calendar drawings. Her most recent poster calendar published in Esopus #6 is a spiral rainbow and comes with instructions on how to follow the days by slowly redrawing (“killing”) the rainbow in black. Her next calendar for the people is a five-year plan, 06/06/06-11/11/11, which will be distributed in November at the Cincinnati Art Center.