Note: masks required in the gallery
FLXST Contemporary presents Where were we?, a solo exhibition of abstract paintings and drawings by Richmond, Virginia based artist, Roberto Jamora. The show marks Jamora’s first solo show in Chicago. The exhibition title implies reorienting oneself after an interruption, but ultimately, the artist is focusing on the power of internal reflection.
Where were we? includes paintings from Jamora’s series titled An Inventory of Traces. In this series, each gradient is a vignette of an experience, place, or person. He attempts to commit important events in his life to memory via painting. He mines color from memory, photos, interviews, and artifacts from his family. Paint mixed with either beeswax or pumice medium is swiped across the canvas to conceal extraneous possibilities and to limit sentimentality. Simultaneously, illusionistic space is anticipated and denied. A thin trace of color is revealed. Skin tones, days at the beach, climbing a mountain with a lover, sunrises at an artist residency, the lush provinces of the Philippines, the bayous in Louisiana where his ancestors once lived, the shapes of rivers. Color triggers these recollections.
During this time of global uprising and pandemic, it is natural and necessary to reassess the role and relevance of abstraction. Jamora sees the making of abstraction as not only a space for potential innovation of material, but as an experience of looking back to move forward. For Jamora, reflection does not merely mean remembering, but reimagining what could possibly be—what does color do and what can it do?
Roberto Jamora is a Richmond-based artist and educator. He is working on a series of abstract paintings, drawings, and prints titled An Inventory of Traces that explores how color triggers memory.
He holds an MFA in Visual Arts from Purchase College, State University of New York and a BFA in Painting and Printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University, where he currently teaches. He has participated in Artist-in-Residence programs at Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Joan Mitchell Center, Ragdale Foundation, and Sambalikhaan Foundation.
His artwork has been exhibited at Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, Contemporary Art Center of New Orleans, Antenna, FLXST Contemporary, Page Bond Gallery, Philippine Consulate in New York, ADA Gallery, Topaz Arts, Norte Maar, Shockoe Artspace, JuiceBox Art Space, Good Enough Projects, Quality Gallery, Scott Charmin Gallery, Fouladi Projects, the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelly Foundation, Open Space, Outlet Fine Art, ArtHelix, and Ishmael Bernal Gallery. His artwork is in collections including Atlanta Hawks NBA Team, Capital One Art Collection, Harvard Kennedy School, and several private collections throughout North America, the Philippines, and the United Kingdom.