press release

Jason McCoy Inc. is pleased to present "Mooring" the third solo exhibition featuring new paintings by the Houston based painter Terrell James. Highly evocative and abstract, the paintings in "Mooring" were either developed during or after James' three-months stay in Berlin, Germany, (September – November 2009). Signifying "a line that holds a boat in place," the exhibition title addresses the artist's search for finding her place and finding a new place in her painting while abroad.

James' paintings and works on paper resemble a stream of thought that while freely associative, becomes more edited upon contemplation. In the tradition of 20th Century abstract painting, James employs the immediacy of gesture and the spontaneity of impulse to describe what surrounds and moves her. Meanwhile, her time in Berlin had a profound impact her art making. It has led her to an expansion in attention and scope. She recalls:

"The palpable loss imprinted in the marks of the destroyed city - the clearly visible record of its destruction, division and partial reclamation - brought a more urgent temporality to my work. Always deeply involved with physical and emotional surroundings, my efforts were now unavoidably engaged with human evidence in a direct way – with artifacts both of destruction and creation. This contrast, as it can be seen in the Berlin's tormented, still bomb-cratered terrain on the one hand, and the city's continuing effort to recover something humane, societal and just on the other hand."

Though remaining abstract, James' new body of work reveals two new sentiments in particular. The compositions are defined by density, reflecting the amount of intellectual, cultural and historic stimuli she found in the foreign city. In addition, some of her paintings contain an underpinning of darkness. James' works are characterized by her investigation of the self and slumbering emotional content, which in this case capture the complex emotions the artist encountered when researching and absorbing fragments of Germany's past.

Born in 1955 in Houston, TX, James has exhibited extensively in the United States, South America and Asia. Her work is part of the permanent collections at the Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX; the Menil Collection, Houston, TX; the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, MA; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; the Portland Art Museum, OR; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, amongst others.

Terrell James: Mooring