JERNIGAN WICKERFINE ARTS
Artist Biographical Information
Portsmouth, Virginia, 1972
2001 MFA San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA
Selected Exhibitions Solo
2001 Richard Vosseller, Jernigan Wicker Fine Arts, San Francisco, CA
2000 Toronto International Art Exhibition with Jernigan Wicker Fine
Arts, San Francisco, CA
Selected Private Collections
Robin & Leonard Eber Meg & Robert Harmon
Assistant to sculptor Mihai Popa, Long Island
It is often said that the vitality of any tradition can be measured by how long it sustains itself. This truism is dramatically born out in Dick Vosseller's urgent and sumptuous paintings, which breath fresh life into the long-standing practice of Bay Area Figurative Painting, at once doing it great honor while simultaneously extending its trademark stylistics toward a unique and up-to-date psychological realism.
Even as Vosseller's muscular slatherings of luscious pigment are richly saturated with an impassioned enthusiasm for the experiential particulars of a specific time and place, his sullen protagonists tend to not be quite so sure of their moment or the role which it is asking them to play. Their pointedly unflamboyant garb and the furtive stoicism of their body language combines with their quizzical facial expressions to speak volumes about their effort to forestall some kind of unmentionable capitulation to invidious circumstances, always at the expense of the adaptation of a purposeful confidence in, and related enthusiasm for their own sense of place.
Vosseller's agitated paint seems to want to chide these Beckettesque characters into an action which they themselves seem rather reluctant to take, almost as a way of saying that they would be better off regretting something that they did do rather than the many things which they have yet to accomplish.
The most recent paintings seem to have lost their patience in observing the moments of such inaction, and instead completely immerse themselves in the rich atmospherics of a dramatic deluge of color and surface. Yet, these new works do not abandon the figure totally; rather they reveal and exaggerate the anxious world that seems to have induced their earlier state of trepidation. In so doing, they also make a grandiloquent example of their own taking of the proverbial plunge, no doubt in hopes that the fearful figures might follow suit and discover that the big bad world always has possibilities which can never be anticipated.