John F. Kennedy wrote in 1963, "Malthus argued a century and a half ago that man, by using up all his available resources, would forever press on the limits of subsistence, thus condemning humanity to an indefinite future of misery and poverty. We can now begin to hope and, I believe, know that Malthus was expressing not a law of nature, but merely the limitation then of scientific and social wisdom. The truth or falsity of his prediction will depend now, with the tools we have, on our own actions, now and in the years to come." Kay Jackson has addressed this challenge in her painting for more than 25 years. It is a pleasure to welcome her, again, for her sixth exhibit at Addison/Ripley and with all the stresses of over-population, famine, aggression and climate change, what a time to showcase this work. Her eloquent description of her, ultimately, optimistic Malthusian Paintings follows:
"Malthusian" refers to the theory of over-population developed by Thomas Malthus in the early 1800's before the industrial revolution provided the means to feed a growing world population. In 1988, I had a series of vivid dreams where throngs of people replaced cars on roads and endless crowds moved as a human herd. To deal with the anxiety, I started photographing people during rush hour to use as a reference for my first "Malthusian Paintings". These canvases are crowded with moving figures, often faceless but some how connected in their shared kaleidoscopic patterns of light and shadow. Using old master's oil glazing techniques and embracing the "moving" aspect of the figures produces areas of pure abstraction with realistic passages woven into the composition. The illusion of movement is heightened when light reflects off gold and copper leaf layered between veils of paint.
The Malthusian paintings represent my first "environmental" artwork and continue to provide an outlet for my concern about pollution, food supply and how everything is interdependent and relative to the number of people on earth. As we face another Malthusian dilemma, I know the current "technological revolution" will give us the tools to not only deal with the physical challenges but also inform and include enormous numbers of people in the process---more people than Malthus ever dreamed about."
For more information about the artist and her work, images from the exhibition or to schedule an appointment to view the work, please call Ms. Romy Silverstein at 202.338.5180.
The gallery is located at 1670 Wisconsin Avenue in Upper Georgetown at the intersection of Reservoir Road.
Join Robert Brown Gallery on Saturday, February 28 from 2:00-5:00 pm for an opening and meet & greet with artist Stephen Addiss as they present Thirty Years of Discoveries Paintings, Calligraphy and Ceramics by Stephen Addiss. Learn more here.
Stephen Addiss is a painter, poet, ceramicist, musician, and Japanese art historian. Addiss was a professor for thirty-six years, retiring in 2013 from a distinguished position at the University of Richmond. He began studying calligraphy and ink painting in 1969 with Asian scholars, later studying in Japan and Taiwan. This exhibition features over thirty years of ink paintings, calligraphy and ceramics.
Robert Brown Gallery is located 1662 33rd Strret in Georgetown.
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