Graduate Fine Arts

Posted August 16, 2014
  • Jackie Tileston, “Field Guide to Elsewhere” 60” x 72, mixed-media on linen, 2014

Jackie Tileston

“Field Guide to Elsewhere” New Paintings


Zg Gallery is pleased to present Jackie Tileston’s fifth solo show “Field Guide to Elsewhere”.  An American, born in the Philippines and raised in India, London and Paris, Tileston’s new series of paintings continue to incorporate the diverse elements from both eastern and western aesthetics, creating a visual metaphor for her multi-cultural upbringing. Through the use of oil, dry pigment, enamel, collage and transfer items, Tileston’s paintings are rich combinations of  texture, tone, gesture and control.

Tileston states, "The Tibetans have a different notion of the word “ornament” than we do in the West;  thangka paintings have titles like “The Ornament of Liberation” and “The Ornament of Clear Realization”.  Instead of being evocative of the superficial, decorative, or merely sensual, it is a concept aligned with profound wisdom and seeing clearly, and the experience of splendor.

Painting has an ability to open up alternative visual experiences that can specifically align us with internal spaces, altered states of consciousness, euphoria, complexity, and the unpresentable.  Abstraction, especially, is an expert intermediary, translating the nonverbal and not quite visible realities into perceivable, material form.  Paintings can function as runners between realms, both physical and philosophical.  There’s work to do here for paintings, for images.

Folios of Persian miniatures were once prized possessions that were carried by the rulers during war into the tents and battlefields. It was said that to them, handling these treasures in such rugged, bleak terrain must have been comparable to strolling in one of their lovingly tended gardens. It’s a powerful idea this, the artwork as oasis, an alternative manual to the heat and paradox that is physical existence.

I want elements of these images – chunks of paint, hints of dakinis, tantric minimalism, vapors and washes – to seem as if they arose spontaneously, possibly contradicting and critiquing each other, yet somehow cohering as a whole before dissolving back into a sort of ecstatic non-being.  I embrace Foucault’s heterotopic spaces, Dr. Seuss, the intricacies of hyperbolic space, outsider physics, Emma Kunz and Hilma Af Klimt.

In these paintings the delicious muckiness of embodiment alternates with the ephemeral flux of dissolution and change.  The celestial and the lumpy coexist happily here, vaporous swatches pierced by ornamental exuberance."

Jackie Tileston, an associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, has been awarded a Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant, a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Residency, a Guggenheim Fellowship,  The Pew Fellowships in the Arts Grant, and the Core Fellowship Residency, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.  Tileston has also been reviewed in ArtForum and Teme Celeste.  She received her M.F.A. from Indiana University, Bloomington, and her B.A. in Fine Arts, from Yale University, New Haven, CT. Jackie Tileston, “Field Guide to Elsewhere,” new paintings will be on view from September 5th through November 1st, 2014 at Zg Gallery, Chicago.

Preview Paintings: