A self-taught artist, Jason Brinkerhoff has been developing a dynamic body of works on paper for nearly a decade, though he started to show his art only in 2011. No one seems to know what the 38-year-old Bay Area artist was up to prior to that, other than accumulating vintage fashion magazines and amassing a collection of vernacular photography, part of which was exhibited at ZieherSmith earlier this year. Following a heralded show at White Columns in March, the artist mounts his largest exhibition to date, with more than 75 new drawings and paintings—all untitled and all portraying women.
Tapping into the surrealist concept of convulsive beauty, Brinkerhoff portrays the female form as voluptuous and curvilinear, but most often distorts parts, truncates limbs, and replaces the head and face with painted and collaged elements. Almost mannequin-like, the figure becomes a blank form to fill with an extensive vocabulary of marks. Equally compelling is the artist’s use of aged, antiquarian bookplates and papers as his ground, which acts as a way to challenge history while putting his own work into its context. His edgy canvases of reclining nudes, however, take his process into street art with a mix of acrylic, oil and spray paint.
Brinkerhoff pays homage to such modernist masters as Picasso, Gorky and Dubuffet, while experimenting with an array of drawing and painting materials and collage techniques. The result is a hybrid that’s as inventive as it is recognizableÑa winning combination that stops viewers dead in their tracks.—Paul Laster