Part two of Saturday night’s opening receptions at Jonathan LeVine Gallery (because there are always two) was a fun little exhibit called Search Party by Philadelphia-based artist Jim Houser. Search Party, the artist’s fourth solo exhibition at the gallery, includes a series of eight new works and a site-specific installation. Some of Houser’s work reminded me very much of the collages I saw at How & Nosm’s Late Confessions pop up exhibit back in February.
Through Houser’s signature style of visual poetry and personal iconography, the artist extends his practice of self-examination to include the topic of art making itself. Works in this exhibition serve to consider Houser’s relationship to the artwork he creates, the compulsion to create it and how his lifestyle has, consequently, been formed.
Collage Painting with Two Detail Shots Below. As you can see, there is a lot of humor and childlike whimsy in the art.
The way he mixes words with pictures reminds me also of the work of Stephen Powers.
The artist’s collages become visual poems through which he cathartically communicates his most private thoughts and emotions with surprising candor. By cataloging his experiences and feelings through a unique pictorial language, the artist creates his own brand of curative iconography. His aesthetic often mixes stylized figures, hand-drawn typography and geometric shapes, creating quilt-like collages in a cohesive color palette.
Jim Houser layers acrylic on wood, fabric and found objects, blurring the lines between collage and sculpture. Once combined, it becomes clear that all of his works are associative and directly related. This deceptively dimensional quality is further highlighted when the pieces are assembled into one of the artist’s elaborate installations, adding to the complexity of each individual piece by emphasizing a greater inter-connectivity to the body of work as a whole.
If you’ll be heading over to LeVine to check out Shag’s Thursday’s Girl exhibit anyway, don’t forget to spend some time looking over Jim Houser’s Search Party to see what you might discover!
Search Party By Jim Houser will be on Exhibit through May 4th, 2013 at Jonathan LeVine Gallery, Located at 529 West 20th Street, 9th Floor, in the Chelsea Gallery District.