Abstract painter and Kolman & Pryor Gallery artist Jil Evans, whose work has been shown and received with accolades around the world, continues her thrilling investigation into the mysteries of the work of Venetian painter, Tintoretto, with an exhibition of new paintings. Ghost of the Figure runs from September 12 to October 24, and includes a free opening reception Friday, September 18, from 7 – 10 p.m.
Long attracted to Tintoretto’s paint handling, raw power, structure, surface tension, and play of dark and light, Evans heightens and saturates her color palette and deepens her depth of field in these new works. About the Italian painter’s work, she adds: “He takes a crowbar to space with an extreme manipulation of angles. Figures fly in and out. There are always several different narratives on the canvas and many strong diagonals that keep you moving through the paintings with a sense of urgency.”
Because Evans abstracts from Tintoretto’s figurative point of view, “the ghost of the figure exists in my work, which viewers strongly respond to,” she explains. “There is also a lot of mystery in his work, which I attempt to convey through an abstracted sense of how our inner life is connected to the physical world.”
Anita Sue Kolman, co-owner of the Kolman & Pryor Gallery, applauds Evans’ “color and sense of movement” in the work, but adds that “what amazes me most is Jil’s ability to translate Tintoretto’s paintings, created centuries ago, into contemporary abstract work with a distinctly modern sensibility.”
The paintings that comprise Ghost of the Figure also extend that sensibility into new areas for Evans. “I’m pushing to make my work as extreme as possible,” she explains. “It is still abstract, but the shapes and forms are specific in how they fit together, so that they cut into and push against each other to create a sense of the violent and the sublime, a sense of drama and consequence in the work.”
In addition to abstract paintings, adds Patrick K. Pryor, co-owner of the Kolman & Pryor Gallery, some of the smaller pieces in the show “are collages constructed with gestural marks, canvas pieces sliced from other paintings, and photographs of paintings. Together these media illustrate not only Jil’s ability to powerfully manipulate the abstract figure on any scale, but also offer an intimate look into her studio practice.”
Because she’s interested in the tipping point at which something recognizable nearly becomes something else, abstraction is Evans’ exploratory method for making meaning through her work. Evans has shown nationally and internationally, and has work in several museum and corporate collections. Evans has received several grants including awards from the Jerome Foundation, Arts Midwest/National Endowment for the Arts, Minnesota State Arts Board, and the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage. She has also participated in residencies at the
American Academy in Rome and the Atlantic Center for the Arts. Evans earned a BFA from Calvin College, received her MA in painting at the University of Iowa, and a MFA in painting from Stanford University. Evans is a founding member of Form + Content Gallery in Minneapolis, Minnesota.