Jackie Tileston (MFA Professor of Painting) in Review in Philadelphia Inquirer

Jackie Tileston, El Dorado Depot, 2009

Jackie Tileston (MFA Professor of Painting) has a show at Pentimenti Gallery currently on view, and was reviewed by Edith Newhall in the Philadelphia Inquirer. The article is below.

Galleries: Two outstanding pairings, at Pentimenti and at Locks

By Edith Newhall

It's not often that a two-person show catches both of its artists on a perfect wave - or, rarer still, unites two who make each other shine - but Pentimenti Gallery's pairing of Jackie Tileston and Jedediah Morfit does both. While Tileston envisions the landscape as a place of ever-expanding possibility, Morfit uses it to evoke the inevitable passage of human life on Earth as it was viewed a couple of centuries ago, with some odd goings-on along the way.

Tileston's new paintings push her visions of kaleidoscopic worlds to even greater dimensions than her earlier works have done. Where her meditative, floating, dissolving landscapes of a few years ago suggested a hybrid of sci-fi and Japanese Ukiyo-e ("pictures of the floating world") or Chinese scroll painting, her new, glitter-sprinkled paintings describe vaster places, sharper geometries, and explosive phenomena - in outer space and the world we know.

Even in the calmest of these new paintings, El Dorado Depot, a meteorlike shape is headed toward a jagged cliff of exposed, rainbow- hued strata. Opposite that cliff a mountain looms, a nicely forbidding perch for a Wicked Witch, but as drippy as any abstract expressionist painting at its base. It's just a painting, after all, melting as the witch did.

An installation of Tileston's photographs from her recent trips to China and India offers insight into the compositions and colors of her paintings. In each one, a dozen coincidental juxtapositions and intersections exist in utter stillness, motionless. In her paintings, the same kinds of coincidences of placement appear, but as in a state of flux: coalescing, breaking apart, attenuating, reuniting.

Morfit's bas-relief sculptures of humans and animals, which compose the smaller of these two shows (he's in the "Project Room"), bring Kara Walker's silhouettes to mind, but his groupings rarely constitute a story or event as Walker's do. Made from cast white plastic, Morfit's exquisitely modeled figures look as if they had escaped from a prim, 18th-century Wedgwood frieze and found themselves unprepared for the perils and excitement of the life of Tom Jones (the foundling, not the singer). Without a narrative to enact, they seem to be trudging along the same path in the same landscape, as if still confined to the contours of the vase they formerly encircled.

Pentimenti Gallery
145 N. Second St.
Philadelphia, PA


To see more of Jackie's work, visit www.jackietileston.info

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