Jon Imber Exhibition

Godwin-Ternbach Museum

poster for Jon Imber Exhibition

This event has ended.

This display of over 40 paintings celebrates 35 years of discovery and experimentation, moving from images of figuration through landscape to abstraction.

This exhibition marks a return to New York for Imber. Born in Nassau County, NY in 1950 and educated at Cornell University, Imber began his career with landscape paintings and drawings of upstate New York.

After graduating with an MFA from Boston University in 1977, where he studied with Philip Guston, Imber was offered his first important show at Brandeis University’s Rose Art Museum in 1978. Shortly after, Imber started exhibiting at Nielsen Gallery, Boston’s top gallery. He received rave reviews, numerous awards, and was sought after by museums and collectors. Rather than resting on the success of his figurative paintings, Imber challenged himself and tackled new material and new subject matter. His focus shifted to portraits, then to large, studio landscapes, then to figures in landscapes, then to plein air landscapes, and finally to landscapes on the edge of abstraction. Throughout these changes he has maintained a unique style of gestural brush strokes and an intimate sense of knowing his subject that goes beyond observation.

Imber’s work references not only the Abstract Expressionists of the last century but also artists of the Venetian School in the 16th century, with their mastery of light and color. The artist’s influences range broadly from Cezanne and Van Gogh to the frescoes at Pompeii, from medieval cathedral sculpture to Matisse and Beckman. Like the Venetians and the Impressionists, Imber believes in color over design. With his judicious application of paint, using the processes of layering and blending, as well as scraping away, Imber achieves images alive with glowing richness. His influences reflect the tensions he plays with in his own work: personal vision versus the material of paint, content versus form.

Last year Imber was diagnosed with ALS, a neurodegenerative disorder. As he lost the use of his right hand and arm, Imber persevered and trained himself to paint with his left hand. The most recent paintings on exhibit were made in this manner. Now the progression of the disease is such that Imber’s left hand is beginning to fail. In some of the newest work, Imber has returned to painting portraits, examining mortality and legacy through images of relationships between father, son, and mentor.

Imber’s credits include teaching at Rhode Island School of Design, School of Visual Arts in NYC, Massachusetts College of Art, and currently Harvard University where he has taught drawing for twenty-seven years. His work has been exhibited throughout the United States and acquired by major collectors, cultural institutions, and corporations, including the Fogg Art Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the New Orleans Museum of Art, and the United States State Department. The Alpha Gallery in Boston, Massachusetts, Greenhut Gallery in Portland, Maine, and Watson Gallery, in Stonington, Maine represent the artist.

An essay by poet and essayist, William Corbett, will accompany the exhibition and the online catalogue.



from May 01, 2013 to June 15, 2013

Opening Reception on 2013-05-11 from 15:00 to 17:00


Jon Imber

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