Garet, American (1955 - )
Painter Jedd Garet was born
in 1955. Part of the "new painting" movement considered
a 1980s Neo-Expressionist -- he combines figuration and abstraction
in narrative works. Ambiguous unrelated images are like visions
in metaphysical landscapes of Classical architectural fragments
and atmospheric forms, as in "Wonderland of Forms,"
in which columns float in illusionistic space.
Influenced by seminal Surrealist Giorgio de Chirico, Garet
uses garish colors in jarring contrasts to explore relationships
between nature, man and art. In later work, figures, trees and
other more recognizable objects were added to the minimalist
flat ground, creating tension.
His work is in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American
Art, and Paine-Weber, New York City.
Of his intentions Garet says: 'No words, no natural elements,
nothing natural, including the figures. They were statues, not
people . . . It's not that nature is hard to do, it's that it's
against the rules. I broke down all my rules - one by one.'
(Jedd Garet: Nature as Artifice; Essay by Robert Pincus-Witten.
1984, HC, 167 pgs. illus., ISBN 0-942642-12-0)
Excerpts from reviews include:
Maurice Poirier, ARTnews, 4/1986
"His appropriation of modes and motifs from de Chirico
especially, together with the glaring mannerist quality of his
color, is still in evidence...Garet's greatest talent may well
lie in landscape and seascape, and few artists know how to exploit
the raw radiance latent in acrylic with as much poetic flair."
John Zinnser, Art in America, 9/1989
"Jedd Garet...is an artist for whom subtlety has never
been the issue...His earliest works were rendered in macho swirls
of acrylic impasto. For all their reckless speed and abandon,
the paintings managed to look like instant masterpiecesclassicism
with a raffish downtown spirit. In them, Garet borrowed freely
from Giorgio de Chirico, especially his images of a psychologically
charged landscape inhabited by solitary, mannequin-like figures."
Nancy Grimes, ARTnews, 12/1987
"During the early 80s Jedd Garet brought into the mainstream
a style or school of art that looked purposely inept. 'Bad'
artists favored awkward, childish drawing, off-balance composition,
discordant color, and slapdash paint application. Neo-Expressionism
represented the Golden Age of Bad. In this selection of recent
paintings, Garet brings badness to biomorphic abstraction, proving
that he is one of the best bad artists around. By denying expectations
of balance, unity, and harmony, Garet unerringly achieves a
disquieting offnessam eerie sense that the natural, automatic
processes of psyche and soma celebrated by Surrealism and Abstract
Expressionism have gone awry...Garet's incredibly studied paintings
burlesque the notions of spontaneity and naturalness that have
generated so much modern abstraction. Without completely discarding
the category of the natural, he suggests that the nature of
nature has yet to be determined."
Donald Kuspit, ARTFORUM, 11/1987
"Garet works in a mode that might be called surreal-baroque
abstract, with a touch of rococo potential...What garet gives
us is a baroque sense of imperfect visionary flight on a surrealist
basea sense of incongruous forms mysteriously converging, inhabiting
the same pictorial space for no apparent reason...his paintings
are full of pathos tending to violence, distilled into a witty,
but nonetheless extreme pictorial gesture...The final effect
is ornamental in the best sense:...a playful network of light
and shade, conveying a sense of emotional peculiarity and sinuousness."
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