Over 40 sculptures and paintings by contemporary artist Jim Condron explore the ephemeral materials of life one chooses to collect. Nostalgia, remorse, repression, stamina, chance and vitality intermingle with paint, thickening mediums, solvents, adhesives, remnants, wood, foam, cement, scrap metal, plastic, repurposed animal fur, clothing, mannequins and trash cans through these operatic paintings and assemblage constructions.
Condron’s pieces are titled with a textual story fragment intended to add to each work’s rhetoric, rather than naming or defining it. Titles are applied to the pieces with the same method that Condron assembles materials. Phrases from literature that resonate with the artist are appropriated from an array of great authors such as Don DeLillo, James Salter, Anton Chekhov, Nikolai Gogol, Oscar Wilde, Hunter Thompson, Kurt Vonnegut, Ernest Hemmingway, Henry Miller, Anais Nin. These works are paired with quotations by famous historical artists and authors “talking trash” about the work of other famous historical artists and authors. These humorous pairings affirm Condron’s view that someone’s meaningless trash is someone else’s art and history.
Highly conversant and tactile works such as Conscience and cowardice are really the same thing combine epoxy, oil paint, wood, animal fur, and ceramic tile configured to reference both Phillip Guston’s figures and heraldic shields from Condron’s childhood fascination with coats of arms.
The sculpture I never take any notice of what common people say, and I never interfere with what charming people say is made with a section of a lobster trap, lacrosse mesh, and diamond plate steel. The work encompasses motifs of protection and entrapment and alludes to Matisse’s Piano Lesson (1916).
Trash Talk: History in Assemblage is an exhibition about art’s act of preserving. Through nostalgia the artist transforms the ephemeral, what could have been trash, into something meaningful and more permanent, imbuing objects with purpose.
In 2017, Jim Condron was a recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant. He earned his MFA at the Hoffberger School of Painting at the Maryland Institute College of Art, and holds a BA in Art and English from Colby College. In addition, he studied at the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting, and Sculpture. He has exhibited in galleries and museums both nationally and internationally, and his works are held in corporate, university, and public and private collections around the world.