Jim Shrosbree: thinking/still

14 September - 2 November 2019
Paul Kotula Projects is pleased to begin the Fall exhibition season with a solo exhibition of recent work by 2019 Guggenheim Fellow, Jim Shrosbree. Titled thinking/still, the exhibition features sculpture, painting, and works on paper and will be on view from September 14 to October 19. Please join us for an opening celebration Saturday, September 14 from 6 to 8 PM.

Shrosbree uses abstraction to explore humanistic experience. He is noted for his intimate, organic, ceramic and mixed-media sculpture that suggests the figure as both a physical entity and hallowed site of being. His highly distilled imagery is formed out of simple, yet idiosyncratic materials and is placed within the context of architecture. His sculpture that hangs from the wall often includes drawn lines and/or colored shapes that are placed behind and/or around his forms and many have physical linear connections, like wire, uniting the form and the wall through suspension and/or tension. His play between sculpture and painting and drawing forms a precarious set of relationships, while affirming the architectural space in which his sculpture, like those that come to view them, temporarily occupies. Shrosbree's free-standing pieces incorporate custom pedestals, trivet-like platforms and/or cloth coverings. The latter elude to domestic or embodied space, while inviting responses to texture memory. Fake fur, nylon, a piece of blanket, natural or painted wood are all common materials in his work. They lay a foundation for his biomorphic forms that rest above. These "stacks", as the artist sometimes refers to them, may be read as altars; Shrosbree acknowledges his Catholic upbringing and Eastern Indian influence. They also imply a studio work space where a soiled rag, a rubber band, or a piece of felt with some stray hair, possibly from a dog, become sacred materials. For Shrosbree, the studio is a space where the most common of things can be transformed into art, especially when, as his contemporary John Duff has stated, the artist is "conscious of the act of being conscious."

Shrosbree extends his ideas in collage and painting and several are featured in his exhibition. Like his sculpture, they give a nod to Modernism, but only as a starting point. It is the conditions of contemporary life as seen through Modernism that interests him.
Earlier this year, Shrosbree completed his third artist residency at Yaddo in Saratoga Springs, NY. His sculpture, paintings, and works on paper have been exhibited nationally and internationally and are included in such public collections as Daum Museum of Contemporary Art, Des Moines Art Center, Detroit Institute of Arts, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Mint Museum, MSU Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, and University of Iowa Museum of Art. In addition to his recent fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and Yaddo are those from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Iowa Arts Council, Idaho Arts and Humanities Commission, MacDowell Colony and Watershed Center for Ceramic Art. Shrosbree earned his MFA from the University of Montana. He is Professor of Art at Maharishi University in Fairfield, Iowa.