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May 2 - June 15, 2024


The opening reception with the artist is Thursday, May 2nd, 6-8pm.

SEIZAN Gallery New York is pleased to announce Thaw, a solo exhibition of paintings by New York City artist James Isherwood from May 2nd through June 15th, 2024. The opening reception with the artist is Thursday, May 2nd, 6-8pm. The gallery’s project space features 15 paintings in acrylic on paper or panel. All feature an intimate size and scale that are signature elements of Isherwood’s body of work.


Writing in Flash Art in 2020, critic Pier Luigi Sacco characterizes Isherwood as a “master of deception.” Buildings and structures are presiding features in Isherwood’s works. They become architectural protagonists through which Isherwood invents alternate realities, inviting the viewer into visual paradoxes in hyper-saturated palettes.


These structures that populate Isherwood’s paintings, alluding to David Hockney’s pools, are always presented absent of people. Sacco writes, “Despite their obvious allusion to stereotypical built forms, they are clearly not inhabited — or possibly even inhabitable.” This absence of human presence enables the viewer to inhabit the structure in a waking-dream space, transported through a cosmos of the imagination. This space has the capability to offer a duality of feeling: playful yet dangerous, otherworldly yet recognizable. Isherwood’s color palette, likewise, engages this duality, evoking everything from a drifting snowbank or a night sky to a chemical burn or a black hole.


While Isherwood begins his process by referencing visual material—often images of particular buildings—his rendering of this material lands the viewer on another astral plane entirely. His method is highly technical, while retaining an improvisational and serendipitous aspect. His technique utilizes washes and often hundreds of layers, also adding renderings that show the hand of a skilled draftsman. At the same time, his compositions allude to Magritte and other Surrealists through his playful, trickster choices.


This exhibition represents a strong passage, following a highly inventive period in the pandemic lockdown, into a newly deepened visual vernacular of Isherwood’s own invention.


Isherwood’s most recent solo exhibitions were at Susan Eley Fine Art in Hudson, NY in 2022 and “Future Memory,” at Galeria Ana Serratosa in Valencia, Spain in 2021, for which he was featured in Spanish cultural publication Makma. He has been awarded fellowships from the Constance Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts, Willapa Bay AiR, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. His works are held in the US Department of State Art Bank Collection and in numerous private collections. Raised in Eastern Massachusetts, Isherwood earned a Bachelor of Arts from Parsons School of Design and has since lived and worked in New York City.


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