Artist: James Iveson
Exhibition title: Painting
Venue: South Willard, Los Angeles, US
Date: September 1 – October 15, 2020
Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and South Willard, Los Angeles
Daisy Sheff: In our Graphite Journal chat, you said you were interested in “families.” Does having a daughter change your practice/subject matter? Is that sweet Norma in Drink?
James Iveson: Yes, that’s Norma in Drink. She was holding a cup whilst watching a tv show and she let it balance on her nose. This gave me enough time to draw her. I never set out to make a drawing. I draw when there’s time to draw, when everyone is preoccupied, when I’m not needed for anything. The drawings I get most attached to and take to the studio seem to happen when I feel fortunate and quite literally happy.
Although the faces aren’t defined, I have the feeling that these are of specific individuals/actual events— is this true?
The paintings are very accurate to me in their description. I think the definition of a person comes from their whole body, not their face. I think likeness begins with posture, which is formed out of personal gestures––how a person sits on a chair, the shape of their elbow or shoulder in repose.
They have such specificity while relying on color blocks- could be called “abstraction.”
Yes, the paintings have ended up here. I am sensitive to what can’t happen in terms of illusion and these color blocks are what get left. There are a lot of changes that take place in these paintings. A sort of timeline is evident in their textures, edges, and underpainting. The process is technically illogical in terms of the craft of painting. They are quite clumsy.
James Iveson (b. 1983, England) lives and works in Pasadena, California. Holds a MFA from UCLA and a BA from Goldsmiths University of London. Awards include the Pollock-Krasner Grant, Elaine Krown Klein Scholarship, and the Nicholas and Andrei Tooth Travel award used to study the works of Fairfield Porter held in the collection of the Parrish Art Museum, Southampton. Selected solo exhibitions include South Willard, Los Angeles (2019), Norwich Outpost, Norwich (2012), and Dicksmith Gallery, London (2010). Selected group exhibitions include 356 Mission Road, Los Angeles (2014), The Tetley, Leeds (2014), Kettles Yard, Cambridge (2013), and Hotel Gallery, London (2010).