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Jim Isermann


Jim Isermann, Untitled , 2005. Vacuum-formed polystyrene; overall dimensions variable. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Joseph and Jory Shapiro Fund by exchange, 2006.16. © 2005 Jim Isermann

Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago


The MCA presents a major installation of the Los Angeles-based artist Jim Isermann for its lobby wall project. This untitled work is a reconfiguration of a project the artist created for the New York gallery Deitch Projects in September 2005 and comprises a wavy network of vacuum-formed plastic tiles. Isermann has, over the course of a 25-year career, quietly established himself through paintings and sculptures that examine the increasingly blurry boundary between art and design. In doing so, he anticipated artists such as Jorge Pardo, Tobias Rehberger, and Pae White in redefining considerations of aesthetics and functionality. While his influences include Op art and modernist interior design (particularly mid-century figures such as Herman Miller or Charles and Ray Eames), his work also evokes a wide range of sculptural and architectural precedents ranging from Renaissance structures to the work of artists such as Donald Judd and Ellsworth Kelly. This work in particular combines the mass-production logic of industrial design to the dynamic aesthetic effect of abstract painting or minimalist sculpture. The project utilizes five types of concave, quadrilateral-based pyramids whose slight differences in base shape are perceived as an undulating flow of formal distortion and harmony.


Support for Jim Isermann is generously provided by the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation.

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