Meet Groundbreaking Painter and UI Alumnus Oliver Lee Jackson

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Meet Groundbreaking Painter and UI Alumnus Oliver Lee Jackson

February 23, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Groundbreaking painter, Iowa alumnus, and founding member of the Black Artists Group, Oliver Lee Jackson presents “The Alchemy of Making,” a public talk at the Stanley. Jackson’s five-decade career began at Iowa and now his monumental Painting (4.78-I) and Painting (4.78-II) are proudly featured at the Stanley Museum of Art in Gallery 6 as part of Homecoming. Please join us to meet the artist and and learn more about his career and artistic process.

If you are not able to attend in person, join us on the event live stream:

Over the span of five decades, Oliver Lee Jackson (MFA 63) has developed a singular body of work, creating complex and layered paintings in which figural forms meld with abstract fields of vivid color.  While tightly composed, Jackson’s paintings feel improvisational in approach, as gestural marks become intertwined with vivid swaths of paint and color. Building over time, each work becomes a synthesis of references that may span from the Renaissance to Modernism, filtered through what Jackson terms his “African sensibility.” The resulting works eschew a single narrative or reading and instead seek to encourage the viewer to form their own emotional response. Creating multiple points of entry within each painting, Jackson states that his work is “for anybody’s eyes; any eyes will do.”

Oliver Lee Jackson lives and works in Oakland, California. Originally from St. Louis, he was affiliated with the Black Artists Group, which was founded there in 1968 as an interdisciplinary collective of musicians, actors, and visual artists. Earlier this year, Jackson’s work was the subject of solo exhibitions at the Saint Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, Missouri, and the di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art, Napa, California. Other past institutional exhibitions of Jackson’s work include the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, 2019; the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, Missouri, 2012; Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2002; the Art, Design & Architecture Museum at the University of California, Santa Barbara, 1985; the University of California Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, 1983; the Seattle Art Museum, Washington, 1982; and the Saint Louis Art Museum, 1980, among others. His works are held in the public collections of The Metropolitan Museum, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Illinois; the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, California; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; the Portland Art Museum, Oregon; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California; the San José Museum of Art, California; the Seattle Art Museum; Saint Louis Art Museum; the Detroit Institute of Arts, Michigan; and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, among others.

Read a reflection on Oliver Lee Jackson by Director Lauren Lessing.


February 23, 2023
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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Stanley Museum of Art
160 West Burlington Street
Iowa City, IA 52242 United States
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