TALK at 6 pm
with moderator Suzanne Weaver, The Brown Foundation Curator
of Modern and Contemporary Art, San Antonio Museum of Art
Jay Shinn lives and works between Dallas, New York and Berlin. Shinn received his BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and is an alumnus of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Throughout his career, Shinn continues to explore minimal geometric abstraction through a variety of practices. Recent highlighted exhibitions include William Shearburn Gallery, Saint Louis; Barry Whistler Gallery, Dallas, TX; Louise Alexander Gallery, Porto Cervo, Italy; Galerie Jordan Seydoux, Berlin, Germany; Theodore Art, NYC; Leila Heller Gallery, NYC; Mixed Greens, NYC; Barbara Davis Gallery, Houston,TX; Knoerle & Baettig, Winterthur, Switzerland; and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
Shinn’s work is in numerous private and public collections worldwide. He recently completed 2 large-scale permanent light based installations in Terminal D of the Houston Intercontinental Airport, Houston TX. Other public collections include DFW International Airport; Houston Hobby Airport; Microsoft Corporation; Fidelity Investments; Tom Ford Collection; Langham Hotel (Chicago); W Hotel (Dallas); and The State Department (Washington, D.C.), among others.
ESSAY by Mark L Smith
Jay Shinn’s art is an enigma. It is both complicated and simple. On first glance it grabs one’s attention by light, especially in the pieces involving neon. Comparisons to Dan Flavin’s work are common. But as one approaches, it becomes apparent that there are many more layers to Shinn’s work.
Color is the other feature that commands attention for a viewer, such as in his new series “Inflorescence”. His work clearly celebrates a vivid variety of hues. But his choices of those colors are meticulous and yet peaceful. Each hue has enough intensity to demand our attention, yet there is a softness that feels mindful, almost meditative. Some viewers experience a kind of spirituality in his works, which the exhibition title piece—Silver Moon–evokes.
This gentleness of heart exists in Shinn’s work in spite of his devotion to geometric shapes and patterns. He is meticulous in the way he adheres to the symmetry and asymmetry of his geometric systems (thus such titles as Atomic). This sometimes brings up a comparisons to Sol Lewitt’s work. But Shinn embeds those systems into shapes that also remind one of the works of Al Held or even Ellsworth Kelly. But as gallerist Barry Whistler has observed, Shinn has moved solidly into his own unique vision.
The way the artist puts all of his moving parts together engages us on several levels. One is immediately struck by their assertive drama of color and light. Then as one moves closer and examines them in detail, other aspects bring one in deeper. There is also a sense of play in his work; he uses the word “party” in several titles. Other titles—like Walker and Angel Flight reveal his interest in movement. And there are more aspects, but one of the most important things about Shinn’s work is that it is open to each of our unique interpretations. Even though his work is extremely organized, there is always room for us to enter and complete it. In this way he follows the art theory of the late French-American artist Marcel Duchamp: There are three parts to each work of art–the artist, the work, and the viewer who finishes it. Shinn sets up his work with perfection but he leaves open various gates we can walk through, and it is always worth of the trip.
Jay Shinn Figurine
Jay Shinn Badge
Jay Shinn Intersection