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Jonathan Paul Jackson

An African American Expression

May 11 - July 20th, 2024

In his ongoing An African American Expression or African Contemporary series, Jonathan Paul Jackson creates a visionary and imaginative body of work inspired by his personal exploration and study of the mythology and history concerning African sculpture. As a visitor to the University Museum at Texas Southern, Jackson was excited and inspired by the relationship between the traditional African sculptures on display, and the art of Dr. John Biggers and his students. This collection serves as a sort of touchstone for the artist, revealing paths of creative possibilities while also underlining the importance of African and African American Art collections in historically Black colleges.

The first iteration of African American Expression (Volume One) featured midsize paintings, while in Volume Two Jackson continues his exploration of African sculptures in paintings by utilizing specific sculptures (such as Chiwara from Mali) as the central motif.

For many of the works, Jackson has taken the image of the sculpture, printed it out using his large scale printer, and collaged the now monumentally scaled image of the sculpture onto the canvas, before adding paint and other materials to animate the surface of the work. This combination of open sourcing of imagery and the printing of the digital image takes advantage of the accessibility of museum collections and the inclusion of new technologies