press release

Jim Isermann’s twenty-five years of art practice have fixated on the exchange of visual information between high art and post war industrial design. While his influences certainly include Op Art, “supergraphics” and mid-century interior design, Isermann is an artist more in the tradition of a Renaissance architect--using simplicity, elegance, industry, and economy to chase utopian ideals of harmonious form and mathematical proportion.

Informed by these ideals, Isermann straightforwardly approaches a new project using a minimal palette of industrial color and the most economical and efficient materials. Thus without mystification or waste, Isermann adapts the formal language of fine-artists like Donald Judd or Bridget Riley to the utilitarian prescriptions of contemporary design. Here, Isermann has selected vacuum-formed plastic components for their smooth opaque finish, lightweight, and affordability.

The artist explains: Since receiving his MFA from the California Institute of the arts in 1980, my artistic output has chronicled popular culture’s conflation of post-war industrial design and fine art. From functional installations to discrete objects my practice reclaimed a utopian desire while revealing a pathos of its failed promise. Throughout the 90’s I explored the relationships of fine art and craftsmanship to labor intensive, handmade work. I find god in the rigid logic of the repeating geometric pattern and in the beauty that is defined by the limitations and specific characteristics of fabrication. In 1999 I began to digitally design manufactured elements for site-specific gallery, museum and public projects.

For Deitch Projects I have designed an interlocking vacuum formed panel installation. The 2,700 panel project is made up of five different quadrilateral shapes, ranging from square through trapezoid to parallelogram. Two corners of Wooster Street gallery will be formed into radii so that the pattern can seamlessly wrap around three contiguous walls. Panels will be installed on the gallery façade in a different orientation.


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Jim Isermann
18 Wooster Street, New York