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gathering smoke – (appannato)

Reynolds Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of gathering smoke – (appannato), an exhibition of Jack Wax’s recent drawings and three dimensional works at our Main Street location. The exhibition opens on Friday, January 12, 2024 with a public reception with the artist from 5 – 7 pm. The show runs through February 23, 2024. This exhibition runs concurrently with Heide Trepanier: That
Which Grows In The Dark (see separate announcement).

About the Exhibition

Jack Wax’s upcoming exhibition encompasses a series of new grommet bound ink and graphite drawings, as well as two new mixed media sculptures. Wax’s series is tied together by the notion of maintaining balance as one gets older within different areas of your life as well as with your body. Having spent time in Japan, California and New York, Wax incorporates elements of Western and Eastern cultures into his obsessive, back-painted drawing with an emphasis on the themes of life and death. Within his new works, thin lines of ink form delicate patterns both organic and geometric, in black and white and in color, creating visions of nets, intricate specimens, or imagined cages. With the glass works, Wax designs abstract pieces in reaction to early cultural art objects and artifacts. Hand-blown and molded, the glass mimics the intimate quality of his drawings, expressing a precision yet decided imperfection latent in hand-made pieces. Across all works, his subjects are mysterious yet seemingly alive; each form conjures natural elements of the land or body, emitting its own personality.

Artist Statement

“To be an Artist, we must work every day. The consistency, the monotony, the certainty, or the vagaries and passions are covered by this daily reoccurrence…this practice. ‘Discoveries’ come softly and quietly, behind my left ear or in a corner of the next room. The “images” are blurred whispers, the ideas shifting renditions of possibilities that have not been resolved, though they have occurred and reoccurred a thousand times in my mind. It is a collection of memories not exactly my own. These reminiscences surface in dreams or out of abstracted notions brought on by a penchant for odd connections. This is fueled by all the failures and hopes that are experienced continually. These “ideas” have no physical form. They are smoky concepts liable to disappear at the slightest disturbance. An alarm clock or a ringing phone will dispel a new image forming, answering the call will erase it completely from the world. Our most precious ability, the knack of creation, is also our most fleeting resource. What might be fades in the world of necessity. I open my sketchbook to see what I’d made note of….and I remember everything perfectly, but the life has somehow drained out of it. The words have no art to them; I no longer remember the smells. The idea(s) seems weak, all has dissipated, like smoke.
Nothing I create is in anyway art at first. It’s simply a collection of notions that may never be understood. Returning every day thickens the atmosphere. Images appear, (and reappear). Connections are made. But even these clearer notions will fade if I stay away for many days. Reality fights against my dreams, it tries to deny creation and change. The world (really) wants me to be someone known, someone with solid ideas, not someone working hard (and futilely) in the continuous act of gathering smoke.
– My thanks to Walter Mosley”

— Jack Wax, December 2023

About the Artist

Wax was born in 1954 in the Hudson River Valley region. He received his BFA from Temple University’s Tyler School of Art and MFA in Sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design (1978, 1983). He has held teaching positions at the Tyler School of Art, Ohio State University, The Cleveland Institute of Art, RISD, and Toyama Institute in Japan. Currently, he is a professor in Richmond at VCUarts, where he is head of the Glass Section in Craft and Material Studies. He is a two time recipient of Individual Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, was nominated three times for a Tiffany Foundation Grant, was a recipient of an Illinois State Council of the Arts Grant, and he has held residencies in Istanbul Turkey at Cam Ocagi, at The Corning Museum in Corning NY, and on the Island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea. His work is in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum, CA; Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, NY; Tittot Museum, Taipei; Smithsonian Institute, Washington, DC; and in the corporate collections of Altria Group and Markel Corporation, both, Richmond, VA.

noticing reflections (even in the night), 2023, Graphite & ink on Duralar & Yupo with grommets, 50 x 34″ (detail)

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