The latest body of work by Jack Reilly, Artist and Professor Emeritus, California State University, titled “Circles of Time” will be on display at The Bergamot Station Arts Center (bG) March 11-April 9, 2023 in Santa Monica, CA.
Since receiving both his BFA (1976) and MFA (1978) from Florida State University’s Studio Art program, Jack Reilly has had a longstanding career with his work being widely collected and exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the world. Known for his complex paintings on shaped canvas structures, signature brushwork, and seductive illusionism, Reilly is recognized as an original member of the 1970s Abstract Illusionism movement. Using a circular structure as a way to question the linear manor by which we perceive time in opposition to the circular configuration of the tools and devices used to measure time. In observation of the relationship between human tools as a means of documenting time, Reilly notes that “From Stonehenge to medieval calendars to analog wristwatches, humans have attempted to employ circular motifs to harness or understand the passage of time in relationship to space and the physical world in which we exist. This preoccupation with mysteries of the universe, its vast open spaces, punctuated with uncountable heavenly bodies, have puzzled humans from primitive stargazers in ancient worlds to the most educated of scientists of our time.”
Through the medium of abstract painting Reilly creates a visual container to explore the endless repetition and nature of time and space. The outlying edges of these circular paintings consist of rapidly applied, highly chromatic brushstrokes, compressed within hard-edge boundaries that circle the exterior regions of the canvas. Reilly’s signature brushwork surrounds the circle has been compared to the complexities of Gothic stained glass and Byzantine mosaics. Within the center of these circular objects, lie a wide-open space. A sort of an abyss where soft fields of color appear to float somewhere behind the circular edges of the canvas. Within these color fields, one can get lost in the ambiguity of space, contemplate its meaning, or meditate upon the object itself.
Jack Reilly is known for blurring the lines between sculpture and painting, coming to prominence in the late 1970s. In 1979, the Molly Barnes Gallery on La Cienega presented a solo exhibition of Reilly’s abstract paintings. These new shaped canvases were met with critical acclaim by the Los Angeles Times, Artweek, and Arts Magazine. That same year, Reilly received a National Endowment for the Arts Grant. Reilly’s paintings were included in the collections of such notables as Fred and Marcia Weisman, Steve Martin, Daniel Melnick, and numerous museums, corporate and public collections.