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Jim Houser wants you to Make Room For The Emptiness

Juxtapoz // Monday, 19 Oct 2009

Jim Houser wants you to Make Room For The Emptiness with his new solo exhibition. Returning for what will be his third solo show at Jonathan Levine Gallery, Houser has created a new series of paintings and sculptures which will be incorporated into a site-specific installation.

Additionally, the artist has composed a new score of original instrumental music to be played in the space throughout the exhibition, enhancing the experience on an audio-sensory level by complementing the tone, rhythm and repetition of the work.

Houser’s paintings are visual poems by which he communicates his innermost thoughts and feelings; words are involved at times, but not in the traditional sense. By cataloging his experiences through a unique pictoral language, the artist has created his own iconography.

As a result, the collective imagery acts as a cognitive presentation of highly interpretive ideas. Houser’s signature aesthetic contains elements of stylized figures and hand-drawn typography along with patterned line work—all rendered with clean precision using a gradient of tints and shades within his minimal palette of harmonious flat colors.

When his sculptural pieces—which include hand-made guitars and flowerpots—are combined with his paintings, it becomes clear that all of the works are associative and directly related. This deceptively dimensional quality is further highlighted when the pieces are assembled into one of Houser’s elaborate installations, adding to the complexity of each individual piece by emphasizing a greater cohesive inter-connectivity to the body of work, as a whole.

Make Room For The Emptiness marks a subtle departure in style and sophistication for Houser, resulting in a cleaner, simpler, more mature approach to his installation. For the past several years, his work has been heavily influenced by intense physical and emotional pain due to a congenital health problem and grief suffered from personal tragedy. Honoring the memory of his late wife, while also suffering from health issues, Houser’s work has often been a practice in cathartic meditation, driven by memory and mourning.

This year however, the artist has celebrated the affirmation of a new love and has also received medical treatment for his previous health condition. Through experiencing these feelings of profound change and healing in both heart and body—as the show title suggests—Houser is consciously choosing to make some room for fresh, new beginnings by creating a blank slate upon which he can begin to write this new chapter in his life.

Jim Houser lives and works in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Houser's paintings are the system by which he actively catalogs the images and noises, which command his attention. His installations create a mapping system, cataloguing the contents of his head over the course of a particular period of time. His interests include: listening to the cadence of speech, science and science fiction, sickness and disease, plants and animals, sport, time travel, ghosts, the art of children, secrets, radio, codes and code breaking, words that sound beautiful and mean something terrible, and words that sound horrible but mean something wonderful.

Jim Houser
Make Room For The Emptiness
Solo Exhibition
Jonathan Levine Gallery
October 24th—November 21st, 2009
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 24th, 7pm—9pm




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