Jay Gaskill’s paintings deliver their basic image immediately, then invite you to explore their details. Gaskill uses color, shape and paint application to conjure a vibe that speaks to an independent truth. His abstract paintings contain references, but nothing so precise as to tie the image to another artwork or era. Rather they are about creating a particular headspace for the viewer in the present moment.
Gaskill’s paintings are comprised of interlocking colorforms which alternately function as positive and negative spaces. They form an integrated picture plane, with a seamless surface and either a flip-flop or a total rejection of figure/ground relationships.
These colorforms are derived from line drawings that Gaskill compulsively makes. Most of the work for the paintings is done off-canvas, on acetate, where he uses drawing, painting and collage to arrive at a finished composition. He then transfers the image to canvas and paints the painting in one single session, or a series of consecutive sessions on back-to-back days in order to capture a specific moment of expression. In this way, his process is similar to a musician’s, in that he composes, rehearses, and refines an idea before committing the final version of the idea to a recording of his actions.
Jay Gaskill lives and works in Portland, OR, but was born and raised in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C. He received his arts education in New York City, earning a BFA from the School of Visual Arts and an MFA from Hunter College. He has exhibited in group shows on both coasts. His work has been featured in Maake Magazine, ArtMaze Magazine, and the Pencil in the Studio blog. His most recent solo show was in 2014 with One River in New Jersey. This will be his first exhibition in his new home state of Oregon.