Pace welcomes Virginia Jaramillo
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Pace welcomes Virginia Jaramillo
Virginia Jaramillo in her studio in front of Quanta, 2021, courtesy Virginia Jaramillo and Hales Gallery. Photo by JSP Art Photography.

NEW YORK, NY.- Pace Gallery announced its worldwide representation of Virginia Jaramillo in collaboration with Hales Gallery. The artist, who throughout her six-decade career has engaged with and expanded the history of Minimalism, will have her debut presentation with Pace in the inaugural edition of Frieze Seoul in September, where the gallery’s booth will feature a selection of works, grounded in abstraction, by artists across its program.

Jaramillo will have her first solo exhibition with Pace at its Los Angeles gallery in May 2023. The artist’s first museum retrospective will be presented at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, and her work figures in the ongoing group exhibition Sensory Poetics: Collecting Abstraction, on view at the Guggenheim Museum in New York through October 16. In 2020, Jaramillo’s first solo museum exhibition opened at the Menil Collection in Houston, and in 2021 she presented the solo show The Harmony Between Line and Space at the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill, New York.

Born in El Paso, Texas in 1939, Jaramillo, a Mexican American artist, first garnered wide acclaim for her curvilinear paintings, her most famous body of work, which she began creating in the late 1960s following her move from Los Angeles to New York—after a year living in Paris—and continued producing into the 1970s. For these and later works, the artist drew inspiration from the Japanese concept of Ma, which centers on the resonance and significance of negative space. Included in the storied 1971 De Luxe Show in Houston, which was among the first racially integrated exhibitions in the United States, and the 1972 Whitney Annual at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, Jaramillo’s curvilinear works feature elegantly contoured lines that diverge and intersect against vast, monochromatic color fields.

Moving from curvilinear to stained paintings in the 1970s, Jaramillo broadened her investigations of space and depth on her canvases. For her stained works, the artist thins acrylic and oil paints to bleed colors, conjuring new perceptual and sensory effects. In the 1980s, she took a hiatus from painting, creating abstractions made from linen fibers and hand-ground earth pigments, returning to works on canvas in 2017.

Jaramillo has been cultivating her artistic practice since her childhood in Los Angeles, where she attended Manual Arts High School and studied at the Otis Art Institute from 1958 to 1961. Among the earliest milestones of her career was her inclusion in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Annual exhibition series in 1959 and 1961. Influenced by abstract expressionist paintings and modernist design, Jaramillo would continue to pursue explorations of form and function over the course of her career.

Coursing through Jaramillo’s work, which is guided by her deeply philosophical approach to art making, is an intense interest in the imaginative possibilities of geometric abstraction. Jaramillo’s abstractions are often informed by scientific theory and science fiction, two enduring sources of inspiration for the artist. Her methodological process often involves meditations on ideas related to these subjects, and through her exacting sketches and painting techniques she transforms them into transcendent abstractions. In her paintings, Jaramillo uses an abstract visual language to explore the relationships between objects, the internal movements of the human body, molecular interactions, and other physical and temporal phenomena. Materiality also plays a key role in her practice, through which she has experimented with various media, textures, pigments, and technical processes.

Virginia Jaramillo says: “I can remember visiting Pace Gallery in New York in the early 70s. I was excited to see an exhibition of paintings by Agnes Martin. At the time, there were very few women artists exhibiting in a major New York gallery. What I saw that day of Martin's work took my breath away. I thought how brave the artist and the gallery were for their conviction to show this extraordinary work, which, at the time, was very much outside the norm. That is my lasting impression of Pace Gallery.”

Marc Glimcher, CEO and President of Pace Gallery, says: “We’re thrilled to welcome Virginia Jaramillo to Pace. Through her meticulous, contemplative abstractions, Virginia expresses ideas about complex physical and theoretical subjects, imbuing her minimalist compositions with emotional resonance. Virginia’s explorations of space, depth, and materiality produce mesmeric effects, drawing us into the illimitable realms of her chromatically rich, dynamic canvases. Her work has figured in some of the most storied exhibitions of the 20th century, including the 1971 De Luxe Show, and we look forward to sharing both her recent and historic works with new audiences around the world.”

Jaramillo’s work was included in the acclaimed group exhibitions Women in Abstraction, which opened at the Centre Pompidou in Paris in 2021; Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, which opened at Tate Modern in London in 2017; Witness: Art and Civil Rights in the Sixties, presented at the Brooklyn Museum and Blanton Museum of Art in Austin in 2014 and 2015, respectively; and Now Dig This!: Art and Black Los Angeles, 1960–1980, which opened at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles in 2011.

The artist is represented in the collections of the Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena; the Santa Barbara Museum of Art; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Brooklyn Museum, New York; the Guggenheim Museum, New York; the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.; the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond; the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City; the Crystal Bridges Museum of Art, Bentonville, Arkansas; the Menil Collection, Houston; the Dallas Museum of Art; the Peréz Art Museum, Miami; the Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City; and many other institutions.

Virginia Jaramillo (b. 1939, El Paso, Texas) is known for her meditative abstract paintings engaged with a wide range of subjects, including science fiction, history, and physiology. Over the course of her six-decade career, Jaramillo has explored space, depth, and materiality in her canvases, forging a unique visual language through her experimentations with various media, textures, pigments, and technical processes. The artist studied at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles from 1958 to 1961. She is the recipient of numerous awards and grants, including the 2020 Anonymous Was A Woman Award. Her work can be found in many public collections, including the Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Brooklyn Museum, New York; the Baltimore Museum of Art; the Crystal Bridges Museum of Art, Bentonville, Arkansas; the Menil Collection, Houston; the Mexican Museum, San Francisco; the Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena, California; and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. Jaramillo lives and works in New York.

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