The Los Angeles–born sculptor Patrick Jackson works with both discrete objects and immersive installations. His practice often involves interventions in the architecture of the gallery space to evoke a psychologically charged alternative environment. These installations possess a cinematic, “back-lot” quality— an uncanny rendering of reality. Literature and theory are also central to Jackson’s work; his projects are invested in unpacking a complex network of cultural references.
At first glance, Jackson’s figures seem positioned for a funeral, but they are in fact copies made up of various parts: film industry heads, toy hands, and uncanny mannequin feet. There is a storied aspect to their object-ness: beards grown long over their mouths and eyes sealed with no lashes; these things could never see or speak. They can also be viewed as an American subject, an archetype of violence. These sculptures were first presented in Jackson’s 2011 project House of Double—installed in a vacant two-bedroom apartment, the show explored ideas of object relations through juxtapositions with clearly inanimate objects. Jackson’s work contrasts here with Zenobia in Chains (1859), the towering white marble sculpture by Harriet Goodhue Hosmer, a key work in The Huntington’s collection. Hosmer, who led a team of twenty workmen in her sculpture studio in Rome, often depicted strong female figures. Conveying an image of stoicism and solidity, Zenobia in Chains is no exception. For Jackson, these starkly different works highlight an important aspect of figurative sculpture: the vertical as image, and the horizontal as material.
In Made in L.A. 2020: a version, the artist's work is present in two institutions, across Los Angeles. See Patrick Jackson's work on view at the Hammer.
Patrick Jackson was born in 1978 in Los Angeles. He earned his BFA at the San Francisco Art Institute and his MFA at the University of Southern California. Jackson works primarily as a sculptor, creating both discrete objects and immersive installations, occasionally altering the space of the museum/gallery to evoke eerie alternative environments that elicit psychoanalytic readings. In this manner his work considers the material nature of objects and architecture, the relationships of physical objects in space, and how viewers engage with and navigate an exhibition. His mixed-media environments possess a cinematic quality, akin to a stilled narrative. On multiple occasions Jackson has presented site-specific projects in his Los Angeles apartment complex, transforming his living space into exhibitions. Literature and theory are also central to his work; his projects are steeped in his cultural consumption. He outlines each of his exhibitions like a showrunner, pinning index cards to his studio wall, aggregating the language that informs his practice and subsequently piecing together texts and excerpts as source material and context. Jackson has had solo exhibitions at CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco (2017); François Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles (2016, 2013, 2008); and Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery, New York (2010).