Feast on the works of Jessica Eaton, the colour empress of aggregate assemblages
When I look at a photograph and don’t understand what I’m looking at, it makes me feel unsettled. And sort of ignorant. Love that. Makes me ask questions. Slides me into the unknown. The fresh. The unchartered. And with Canadian artist Jessica Eaton’s work, I stand there and think, F*** yeah. That’s good.
So what’s going on in these geometric compositions? How are these rich saturated hues created? Does it really matter? No. Not really. But isn’t it amazing how a single photograph can make you have so many thoughts?
When I first interviewed Jessica Eaton in 2011, around the time her series Cubes for Albers and LeWitt began winning prizes, I remember her sending me upon my request a break down of how her images were created. Despite the analysis, I remained fairly puzzled. Five years later I look at her new work, photographs such as Transition C03 or Helen 01 (Helen Frankenthaler, Small’s Paradise, 1964), and am equally intrigued.
Here’s what I’ve worked out though: Eaton’s works are cumulative creations. Aggregate assemblages. Summative scenarios. She layers multiple exposures to produce increasingly complex geometric compositions. She is into additive colour techniques and uses a large-format analogue camera. I also know Eaton was struck by one of Sol LeWitt’s Paragraphs on Conceptual Art where he speaks about reducing the subject to the simplest form, and reusing it so that the more abstract idea or concept can become the subject. She became interested in investigating the fundamental properties of photography. The outcome: a colour disco. A hues-rave. She is, quite simply, making our minds dance. Can you see the music?
Jessica Eaton’s solo show is at the M+B Gallery in Los Angeles until November 12, 2016. www.mbart.com