Throughout his career, Robert Jessup has approached his paintings with an improvisational manipulation of form that would lead the way toward the discovery (or uncovering) of meaningful configurations. In earlier works, those configurations were representational. However, in the last few years, the search for meaningful form has gradually been taking precedent over representational imagery. The desire for the painting to find its own unique presence on the canvas and to settle into a sustained resonating chord of visual sound has become paramount for Jessup who notes, “Painting has been distilled to what for me are its fundamental questions. How is the paint spread across the surface? How is the painting’s first shape, the rectangle itself, divided and occupied by areas of different color? How do those areas interact with each other? What kind of edges are formed? Color, edge, shape, and surface. The reconciliation of the fundamental forces of the horizontal and the vertical. From a beginning in visual chaos, the struggle to determine essential things and to find a powerful harmony between them.”
Since 1991 Robert Jessup has been a professor of Painting at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas and has exhibited widely throughout the United States. For the 2016-2017 academic year, Jessup has served as the Chair of the Department of Studio at the College of Visual Arts and Design, University of North Texas. He earned a B.F.A. from the University of Washington, Seattle and an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa, Iowa City. Public collections include: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX; The Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY; The High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA; The Bayly Art Museum, University of Virginia, Charlottesville and the Roswell Museum and Art Center, Roswell, New Mexico. This will be the twelfth solo exhibition of paintings at Conduit Gallery for Robert Jessup. He will retire at the end of the 2017-2018 school year and will relocate to the Pacific Northwest.