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Jimi Gleason



Jimi Gleason’s boldly reductive canvases are luminous works of art that have a nearly indescribable impact, evoking a sense of awe in those who view them. His light- and space-filled approach to minimalism evolved through a process philosophy much like that of his mentor, renowned West Coast painter Ed Mosesâ€"that is, through rigorous artistic discipline and a dedication to taking risks with techniques and materials. Painted with an assertive, luminous palette in a refractive medium, his paintings are changing the face of minimalism.


One of the most notable aspects of Gleason’s work is the complex way in which a painting invites viewer interaction. Colors, textures, tones and subtleties emerge, meld and shift as ambient light and the viewer’s perspective change. The effect is both puzzling and awe-inspiring. As Gleason has said of his work, each painting is “a frozen moment for those who wish to ponder the visual riddle I offer them.”


To achieve the unique qualities in his paintings, Gleason drags numerous gossamer layers of pearlescent acrylic paint down and across the canvas with hand-made tools. Nearing the edges he allows the paint to pool or smear, creating an emulsive effect that grounds the painting in physical space while the center appears nearly transparent, like vaporous atmosphere.


There is the feeling that his work is in constant flux. Of recent paintings, he says: “The margins have opened more, and I’ve let the gridâ€"what I call the tracâ€"surface more. So, now, the margins create another kind of space, and even though the composition may be filled by the trac, the luminosity still takes on space in itself.” Gleason has said, “Luminous colors especially are like water; the color is like water that sinks down below, and then the tracâ€"the gridâ€"gives nooks and crannies for the color to creep in from one side to the other.”


Gleason was raised near Newport Beach, California, and received his BA from the University of California at Berkeley in 1985. He then spent a brief period of study at the San Francisco Art Institute. Following an extended period in New York City, he returned to California and soon met Ed Moses, with whom he worked as a studio assistant for nearly seven years. Now shown in group and solo exhibitions nationwide, his work can be found in a large and growing number of public and private collections.

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