THE BIG FIG by Johanna Jackson
210 x 270mm, 46 pages, full colour printing throughout, perfect bound. Published with Mississipi Records.
To accompany the exhibiton The Big Fig at Portland Museum of Modern Art.
Through January, the museum presents "The Big Fig," an exhibition of knitted sweaters by Johanna Jackson, an artist whose aesthetic sensibility is firmly rooted in folk art and street culture, but who has nonetheless infiltrated the fine art establishment.
Best known as a leading figure of the Mission School, Jackson -- along with her husband Chris Johanson, Barry McGee and Margaret Kilgallen -- helped popularize a boldly graphic style that drew inspiration from comics, graffiti and the urban bohemia vibe of the San Francisco neighborhood for which it's named.
An excellent example of this style can be found no farther than across the street from the museum. Jackson and Johanson, former Portlanders who now live in Los Angeles, painted a mural on the western wall of Cherry Sprout Produce Market, depicting the Pacific Northwest's natural bounty, from sweeping farmland to iconic firs, in reductive shapes and sunny colors.
For "The Big Fig," Jackson has turned to a more explicitly crafty medium, knitting six sweaters and a blanket. These works are installed on a wooden armature that scans like an abstract clothesline, while allowing them to be viewed from every angle, emphasizing a sculptural quality.