Jim Gislason
Kings and Queens
- To April 24, 2010


"Kings and Queens" is a series of paintings navigating the relationship between analytical and poetic modes of thought. This body of work stems from the study and practice of poetry and its kinship with painting, presenting images both visual and written, combined within a single form.

The potency of metaphor and poetry is affirmed through a technique of 'jamming' the traditional screenprinting method, preventing it from its normal function of reproducing many copies of a single image, and insisting on only a single version. The printing technique is effectively frozen mid-process, the screen itself becoming the venue for the final and single image, as opposed to its usual state, where it operates as a source of multiple images to be widely distributed. This combination of painting and silkscreen results in extremely textural work with a quality of high relief, as well as traditional painterly marks.

Kings and Queens" presents the attempt to reconcile opposing principles in our interpretations of the world as its subject. Male and female figures are intermingled to represent not only the gulf between the philosophical/poetic, but also masculine/feminine, mankind/nature, and religious/secular principles as well. In "Shadow Throne" Eurydice waits in exile, in "Of Kingdoms" Michelangelo's David, reduced to a logo, stands separated by a river from another logo, the great feline panther lifted directly from film rating systems, indicative of 'restricted'. In "Longship", an unlocated "she" presiding over the attendant poem, is translated visually as the shadow image of a Viking sail, while "The Refusal of Charon" shows the ferryman of the River of Woe, Acheron, denying Orpheus forever his reunion with Eurydice.