JACK WAX: IMBRICATIVE WORKS / by DAWN LOWNDES

Imbricative: Drawings by Jack Wax at The Anderson Gallery

Imbricative: Drawings by Jack Wax

Imbricative loosely defined means "related to overlapping in a pattern". 

I slipped into the Anderson Gallery yesterday and had a quick study of an installation by VCU's very own Jack Wax. His work immediately captured my attention, and I only had a bit of time to consume his large installation piece. I sensed an urgency to communicate in his work. It actually seemed to be trying to hold onto me long enough to advise me on the complexities of daily life. I moved through elements and surmised that many of them were unceremoniously discovered in the artist's studio area. They pieces seemed to be randomly appropriated to the installation in a sort edifying mixology of art practice. I, of course, am artist and I see all art as a statement of process in some way.

Imbricative implies repeating overlaps, and this aspect is only physically found in the mylar drawings. I was, at once, seduced to follow the lines and patterns that seemed to hover closely over the surface of the medium upon which they were drawn. These drawing's set out a swirling, grasping, and leaping motion that soon forced my mind to find higher ground on the mylar substratum. These disorienting investigations were promptly suspended at as my eye came to an interlude on the arbitrary placement of what appeared to be simply installed ephemera. These became for me, a badly needed resting place. 

Whew!

As I reached the door to leave, my over the shoulder investigation of the entire piece, gave me the guilty sense that I should have stayed longer. Maybe, even a few days.  It was as if I was being coercively asked to sit down, "Be with me. Maybe you could stay a while longer," says Jack Wax.  I snuck out quietly to my next appointment and felt a genuine shame for leaving. Like I had betrayed him...

Anderson Gallery says: "While Jack Wax is well known as a sculptor who uses glass to make contemplative abstract works, this exhibition surveys his drawings, a parallel activity and means of artistic discovery begun eight years or so ago. Like many of Wax’s sculptures, his drawings reveal a preoccupation with imbrication—that is, the overlapping of elements seen, for example, in roof tiles or fish scales. This term applies not only to his rendering of pattern and form, but also to the overlap of ideas and sources of inspiration that fuel his work. It extends as well to the exhibition’s method of presentation. Two walls of the artist’s studio, chockfull of layered drawings, sculptural components, and found objects, will be transposed to the gallery for the exhibition, appearing in tandem with a formal presentation of his large-scale drawings. Jack Wax is Professor in the VCUarts Department of Craft/Material Studies, where he heads the glass program."