Bio and Recent Writing/Reviews
Jamie Powell was born and raised in West Virginia. For the last decade New York City has been her home. Jamie received her MFA and the Paul Robeson Emerging Artist Award from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University in 2006. She has exhibited extensively over the last ten years including: FLUXspace in Philadelphia, Soil Gallery in Seattle, Momenta Art in Brooklyn, Garis & Hahn and Lesley Heller Workspace in New York. She has received grants from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Vermont Studio Center and Pratt Institute. She is a faculty member at Pratt Institute and a Teaching Artist for the Studio In A School Foundation as well as co-teaches the Lincoln Center Summer Intensive Boot Camp. Currently, she lives and works in Queens, New York where in 2014 she Co-founded an artist-run-studio and project space called Reservoir Art Space.
Born to an Appalachian family of farmers and factory workers encouraged a humble culture of reuse, repurposing, patching and stitching. My mother’s hobby turned main source of income, antique dealing, or junk dealing as we called it, trained my eye. Over the years, I was taught to analyze forms, qualities, and details of objects that others would often overlook to find treasure amongst the discarded.
Feminine domestic labor influences my process of dying, braiding, weaving, stitching and staining. These intimate domestic gestures become grand moments in my paintings. Over-sized and out of control bows pull away from the stretcher....braided canvas falls to the floor. These paintings become physical, three-dimensional objects. The scale references the body, the size of a head, the torso, my outstretched arms. Influences range from Rauschenberg to Jessica Stockholder, from Arte Povera to Pattern and Decoration, from Formalism to Feminism.
The work is rife with hyperactivity and is engaged in what I call tough a minded sense play as a means of discovery in the studio. Often I set out with an idea, a thought, an inkling yet always the process of making wins out.
Featured Faculty Interview for Pratt: Link to interview
Splotch! Published by Neumeraki with essays by Robert C. Morgan and Eileen Jeng can be purchased at neumeraki.com
Surface tension reviewed in Art Report and Art Slant:
Interview by Valerie Brennen for Studio Critical in June, 2015
Powell's work* combines a sense of humor and a conceptual approach to painting, with a consideration of formal, and process oriented elements. High key, artificial color and simplified forms work to achieve a lively and unsettling vision. The dominant shapes make a forthright, fun statement that is constantly undermined by the importance placed on traditionally serious, formal elements (that often lurk in the supports themselves) and a striking and thoughtful attention to detail. Powell's well considered paintings seems akin to incisive political humor - in that "a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down".
Excerpted wall text by Stephen Westfall, October 11, 2013
Powell's abstraction is characterized by pattern and a willingness to treat the picture plane as a device to be penetrated, so her "figures" to be punctures, like a mouth or a pair of eyes. It's a bit like Steve Parrino burlesquing with Joyce Pensato through the language of Support/Surface. You can see where I'm going with this. Powell is in the middle of a conversation about sexy form-giving that seemingly engages an entire culture of thought and attitude. One can draw a vital formal thread from Rauschenberg’s “Yoicks” to Stella’s “Exotic Birds” and on to Mary Heilmann and such painter/sculptors as Jessica Stockholder and Franz West in Powell’s painting. There’s also a strong presence of graffiti culture in her work, a roguish element of street vernacular that continues to be a vital source for late modernist energy. Powell's art is luscious, funny and astute.