WESTWOOD GALLERY NYC is pleased to present Imagining the Cosmos: Abstract Paintings, a solo show of paintings by James Juthstrom (1925-2007). On view in the gallery’s main level are ten abstract paintings, including the premiere presentation of "Expanded Universe," a monumental 9 x 22 foot painting on canvas, never before seen, on view to the public for the first time. The paintings and works on paper were created in the late 1970s through the 1980s.
Juthstrom dedicated his life to a reclusive and committed focus on his art, with little commercial representation. Living in SoHo for 50 years, he created four different bodies of work divided over ten-year periods (abstract, figurative, sculpture, still life). His abstract paintings are astounding in person, with immense detailed layers of small circles and hatch marks resulting in cryptic symbology, sometimes revealed only under light. His process required a meditative commitment to each painting, dedicating months, sometimes years, to each canvas.
Behind their uncountable layers, reflective pigments shimmer, revealing influence of cosmology dating back to 6th century mosaics from Rome and the Middle East. For example, in the diptych “Universal,” circa 1980s, white, blue, purple, and the occasional pink circles create a transcendent realm, an artist’s metaphysical view of the universe.
Juthstrom’s idea to utilize patterning to create cosmic paintings, came after years of experimentation with q-tips in forming the ‘perfect hand-painted circle.’ He was deliberate in his quest to find this spiritual visual expression which led him on a lifelong journey as an artist without recognition in his lifetime. WESTWOOD GALLERY NYC continues to represent the archive and exposure of this important artist's contribution to art history.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
James Juthstrom (1925-2007) was an American artist who lived and worked in his Broome Street loft in SoHo for 50 years creating paintings, drawings, etchings, and sculpture ranging from abstract to figurative. His artwork was exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum (1955-56), Whitney Museum of American Art (1956), Detroit Institute of Arts (1957), and Gallery G (1957) among others. Although he had opportunities for gallery representation, he withdrew from the art world and created work in the privacy of his loft. Westwood Gallery continues to promote the legacy of James Juthstrom, and maintains the ownership and archive of his estate.