August 8 – September 2, 2022
Jon Imber: The Freedom of Abstraction
Opening Reception: Wednesday, August 10 from 5–7pm
Gallery Talk: Wednesday, August 24, 5:30pm–6:30pm
with Chris Crossman and Jill Hoy. The talk will be held Live at the Gallery. No reservation needed for the Live talk.
The Jon Imber Talk will also be broadcast on Zoom. Click to Register for the Jon Imber Zoom Talk!
Chris Crossman was director of the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, Maine, from 1988 to 2005, and the founding chief curator of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.
“Early in my career, the content was the subject; the paint was the means to tell a story. Today, the paint itself is the conveyor of whatever it is that I need to say.” — Jon Imber
Following is an excerpt by Chris Crossman from the exhibition catalog. Catalog is available on request.
“Jon Imber loved his life. You will know this by looking at his paintings. They are the artifacts of his having been in and of the world, “as a husband, as a father, as a friend,” according to the artist describing what truly mattered to him. As nearly everyone in the art world is sadly aware, Imber passed in 2014 from ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Richard Kane’s stunningly beautiful film Imber’s Left Hand is defiantly celebratory; no crying allowed, at least until the lights go up. Today’s art critics are loath to use words like joyous, beautiful, masterpiece. But the unanimous critical consensus is that Imber’s work and life is all that, and so much more.
“The paintings in the current exhibition have been carefully selected to reflect the rather old-fashioned notion, at least in our increasingly fractured and fraught post-civil age, of what the French used to call joie de vivre, the pure joy of living as only art can simultaneously present and imbue. Best known for Cezanne-channeling plein air landscapes like Deer Isle Thoroughfare (1997), Imber was interested in relationships—paint to underlying support, light to color, structure to release, nature to place—seemingly a quality instilled from his innate curiosity about the people and places that affected him, taught him to see. The stepping-stone recession into space of Deer Isle Thoroughfare, the stacking of similar but variegated, nearly alive piles of stone leading the eye across this famed sailor’s reach toward some magical isle in the distance, reflects a very real and personal sense of passage. Deer Isle, Maine, is where he lived and spent many of the most productive months and years of his life, his private mist-shrouded isle, his Camelot on the coast.”