Ron Terada: Jack

3 September–8 October 2011

Ron Terada

Catri­ona Jef­fries is pleased to announce an exhi­bi­tion of Ron Terada’s new series of paint­ings, Jack. Ini­ti­at­ed in 2009 while on res­i­den­cy at the Banff Cen­tre, Ter­a­da began the project of paint­ing the six spe­cif­ic chap­ters from the book Jack Gold­stein and the CalArts Mafia that had been writ­ten by the Amer­i­can artist Jack Gold­stein, before his untime­ly sui­cide in 2003. The book chron­i­cles Goldstein’s life as an artist while at the same time chart­ing the emer­gence of artists from CalArts in the 70s, and their migra­tion to New York and the sub­se­quent fail­ures and suc­cess­es of artists from the peri­od. Writ­ten with cring­ing hon­esty, Goldstein’s writ­ing reveals the arche­typ­al pathos and tragedy of his own life, pre­sent­ed as the ulti­mate myth­i­cal tale of the genius artist mar­tyred by the ego and star-dri­ven work­ings of the 1980s art world.

Jack rep­re­sents a mate­r­i­al loop back to Terada’s ear­ly paint­ings that he pro­duced through­out the 90s, which marred the mono­chrome with ephemer­al, tex­tu­al ready-mades found with­in the art world (Ad Paint­ings, made from Art­fo­rum adver­tise­ments from the 80s), clas­si­fied ads (Per­son­al Paint­ings) and Terada’s own high­school year book (Grey Paint­ings). Ten years on, the Jack paint­ings speak to an influ­en­tial peri­od of art-mak­ing, but elab­o­rate on the role that com­mer­cial inter­ests and social net­works have in the pro­duc­tion of such a his­to­ry. Gold­stein didn’t adhere to a clear chronol­o­gy in his writ­ing for the book and Ter­a­da sim­i­lar­ly hasn’t fol­lowed any par­tic­u­lar order in the process of paint­ing each chap­ter. The paint­ings in the exhi­bi­tion present two com­plete chap­ters from the book, where Gold­stein writes about his ear­ly life grow­ing up as a teenage out­sider in Mon­tre­al and his sub­se­quent art edu­ca­tion at the Chouinard Art Insti­tute, which lat­er became CalArts, in Los Ange­les. He writes as much about his own life as he does about the char­ac­ters and con­di­tions that sur­round­ed him and the deep influ­ence artists such as John Baldessari, through his teach­ing at CalArts, had on stu­dents at the time.

Through Jack Ter­a­da con­sid­ers the ever-per­va­sive­ness of paint­ing as a pri­ma­ry medi­um, not only through his choice to pro­duce the work as a series of paint­ings, but also as Gold­stein specif­i­cal­ly speaks to the eco­nom­ic moti­va­tion behind his deci­sion to switch from a post-stu­dio prac­tice to mak­ing paint­ings, as he felt he ‘had to address the gallery sys­tem’ to be known as an artist, or at least to make a liv­ing by doing so. Ter­a­da may be con­sid­er­ing whether or not the same notion remains, as the paint­ings ambiva­lent­ly acknowl­edge the moti­va­tions that lie beyond the pri­ma­cy of the idea in the pro­duc­tion of a work of art. They also speak to an artist’s per­son­al­i­ty becom­ing tan­ta­mount to an artist’s work, as Gold­stein was told to drop his atti­tude by many of those around him, that charis­ma and charm would go a long way in help­ing his career. Terada’s Jack con­sid­ers the sta­tus­es attrib­uted to suc­cess and how they man­i­fest, (con­cep­tu­al­ly sim­i­lar to his 2003 project Cat­a­logue). Goldstein’s trou­bled life is for­ev­er teth­ered to the read­ing of his work and iron­i­cal­ly, the anx­i­ety that Gold­stein expe­ri­enced from con­stant­ly shift­ing from one medi­um to anoth­er in the mak­ing of his paint­ings, videos and records are what have now secured him as an impor­tant fig­ure with­in recent art his­to­ry.

Ron Ter­a­da (1969) was born in Van­cou­ver where he cur­rent­ly lives and works. He has a forth­com­ing solo exhi­bi­tion, Being There at MCA Chica­go in Novem­ber of this year and his work will be includ­ed the group exhi­bi­tion Future Ret­ro­spec­tive at VOX Con­tem­po­rary Image, Mon­tre­al in 2011. His 2010 solo exhi­bi­tion Who I Think I Am trav­eled to Ikon, Birm­ing­ham; the Hay­ward Gallery, Lon­don; Wal­ter Philips Gallery, Banff; (all 2010); the Justi­na M. Bar­nicke Gallery at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to (2011). Recent solo exhi­bi­tions include Voight Kampff, Catri­ona Jef­fries (2008); You Have Left The Amer­i­can Sec­tor, Art Gallery of Wind­sor (2005); Cat­a­logue, Con­tem­po­rary Art Gallery, Van­cou­ver (2003). His work has been includ­ed in a num­ber of inter­na­tion­al group exhi­bi­tions, includ­ing It Is What It Is, Nation­al Gallery of Cana­da, Ottawa (2011); Act V: Pow­er Alone, Witte De With, Rot­ter­dam (2010); Gallery, Galerie, Gal­le­ria, Nor­ma Man­gione Gallery, Turin (2010); Trac­ta­tus Logi­co-Cat­a­log­i­cus, VOX Con­tem­po­rary Image, Mon­tre­al (2008); The Idea of North, Isabel­la Bor­tolozzi Galerie, Berlin (2007); Shang­hai Bien­ni­al (2006); Con­crete Lan­guage, Con­tem­po­rary Art Gallery, Van­cou­ver (2006); Paint, Van­cou­ver Art Gallery, Van­cou­ver (2006). Terada’s work has been the focus of two major mono­graphs, Who I Think I Am (2010) and Cat­a­logue (2003).

For fur­ther infor­ma­tion or press enquires please con­tact Catri­ona Jef­fries or Anne Low at +1 604 736 1554.