Luis Jacob: Pictures at an Exhibition
Curated by David Liss
Luis Jacob | Pictures at an Exhibition is the second chapter in a multi-city, mid-career survey of his work and features a carefully chosen selection of early and recent work, including Album X, the latest in a series of narrative sequences consisting of hundreds of images culled from a variety of published sources mounted together to form an “image bank”. In addition to small hard-edge and monochromatic paintings, the exhibition also includes a selection of large-scale canvases from the series They Sleep With One Eye Open, (2008). In each of these, two hallucinatory eyes emerge from a dazzling patterned background, like spectral faces from murky depths. Installed together they appear to watch visitors with an intense gaze, and suggest the possibility of an uncanny but living work of art endowed with animistic powers.
In conjunction with his exhibition in MOCCA’s main space, Luis Jacob has been invited to curate an exhibition for the recently inaugurated National Gallery of Canada at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art program. For Cabinet (NGC Toronto) Jacob combines objects drawn from various collection areas of the National Gallery not ordinarily displayed together, extending the thematic notions of viewership, perception and the light of artistic inspiration embodied in Pictures at an Exhibition. This Cabinet, like others in the series that Jacob has curated for other venues, can be seen as a “model” or “performance” of a museum – a museum within a museum – presented as a coherent work of art in its own right.
Together these exhibition projects consider the essential components and fundamental dynamics of aesthetic experience: light, color, pictorial form, the context of the exhibition. Jacob conjures a vision that is about vision; that is about looking, seeing and understanding.
Luis Jacob has achieved an international reputation, particularly since his participation in Documenta 12 in 2007, with solo exhibitions at the Städtisches Museum Abteiberg and the Hamburger Kunstverein, and in Canada at the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, the Darling Foundry and Musée d’art de Joliette. In 2010 his work was featured at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, in the exhibition Haunted: Contemporary Photography/Video/Performance, and in the Kunsthalle Bern in the exhibition Animism. Luis Jacob is represented by Birch Libralato, Toronto.
The National Gallery of Canada at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art is generously supported by Cineplex Media, Porter Airlines, The Ouellette Family Foundation and THE ART DEPT., a leadership circle of MOCCA patrons. Additional support is provided by AXA Art Insurance.