Shelters / Pavilions + Notes


Jeff Colson, Awning, 2016, Fiberglass, string, steel and acrylic paint, 19 x 30 x 12 inches

Maloney Fine Art is pleased to present Jeff Colson’s third exhibition at the gallery, with a selection of new wall reliefs from an ongoing body of work titled Notes and two sculptures from the Shelter/Pavilion Series

For the past ten years Jeff has been working on a series of bas-relief sculptures, titled Notes, which focus on the ephemeral quality of paper, as a subject and a material and addresses the duality of Form vs Content.  Paper, was once the repository of "pure" information, non physical, abstract.  However, with the advent of digital technology, paper has become this very physical, concrete artifact.  These particular works speak to the artist's intense desire to exert some kind of control, or order, over an increasingly chaotic and unpredictable world.  Each work depicts a peripheral accumulation of paper, once symbolic of the day-to-day frenzy of one's life.  As a single sheet it is barely there, but when accumulated, it becomes physical and symbolically loaded as information, emblematic of the systematization of our daily existence.

In these works there occurs a breakdown between positive/seduction and negative/defensive, reactionary impulses.  This can be seen in the Shelter /Pavilion sculptures which are, on one hand, an elemental definition of home; which provides the universal need for cover, a place of refuge, providing protection from bad weather or danger, to shield, screen or insulate and protect against the elements.  On the other hand, a discrete locale for celebration.

Jeff Colson grew up near the oil fields just north of Bakersfield, California. His father was a social worker whose do-it-yourself aesthetic, making everything from toys to homemade life jackets, informed Colson’s own identity as a “crackpot tinkerer.” In his sculpture, Colson refers to both that quirky, by-the-seat-of-your-pants decision-making process and Modernism’s purist grid. The sculptures are fabricated from both personal and cultural memory, often without referencing specific objects or images. The resulting forms are familiar, but aren’t real.  Colson’s sculptures are physical documents of remembered reality. The sense of history is also literal as each piece can take months, even years to make.

Jeff Colson graduated from California State College, Bakersfield. His work is in the Collection of Count Giuseppe Panza di Buomo at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles; the Sammlung Rosenkranz Foundation in Wuppertal, Germany; the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California; Colección Júmex, Mexico City and in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s permanent collection.

Jeff Colson was awarded a 2012 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and a 2015 City of Los Angeles (C.O.L.A.) Fellowship.

The artist lives and works in Pasadena, California