Jackson's mastery of painting is evident in the works, which reflect his personal sensibility and ease with his materials. His compositions offer connections between gestural actions (pointing, kneeling), recurrent motifs (figures with hats, instruments, or carts), and references to the act of making (drawing, brushing, measuring). The exhibition also includes a film created by the Gallery featuring an interview with the artist in his Oakland studio.
"Jackson's experience working with writers, musicians, dancers, and other visual artists directly inspires his colorful compositions. His work has captivated audiences worldwide and challenges viewers to see in new and different ways," said James P. Gorman, chairman and chief executive officer, Morgan Stanley. "At Morgan Stanley, we strive to challenge ourselves to discover new perspectives to share with our clients and communities, and we are pleased to be able to play a part in sharing Oliver Lee Jackson's work with you."
"Unlike many artists who came of age in the wake of abstract expressionism, Jackson never abandoned his figurative orientation," said Harry Cooper, senior curator and head of modern art, National Gallery of Art, Washington. "Having worked with Jackson for over two decades (including on a 2002 exhibition at the Harvard Art Museums), I am excited that we are presenting his recent work, which for all its discipline has an extraordinary freedom and daring. The paintings presented here may be the fruit of Jackson's long experience but they have a youthful energy that recalls Ezra Pound's battle cry of modernism, 'Make it new.'"