Jeff Elrod is an American artist – an abstract painter known for using both digital and analog processes in the creation of his work.
Elrod was born in Irving, Texas in 1966. He got his Bachelor degree in Fine Arts on University of North Texas in Denton, in 1991. Next year Jeff also graduated at Royal Academy of Visual Arts in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
In the beginning of early 1990’s Elrod was fascinated by super graphics and video game imagery that was developing very fast at the time. First, he began painting abstractions inspired by that aesthetics. According to artist’s own confession – Jeff was an obsessive fan of first-generation video games such as Pong and the Atari series. He was in love with its “totally minimal, terse, abstract lines” and pretty soon he realized that he can actually create art using that inspiration.
In the early 90’s Jeff created some looping line drawings inspired by artist and poet Brion Gysin’s Dreamachine from 1961. By using the hallucinatory effects of Gysin’s machine – Elrod processed Brion’s original drawings into blurred lines and he also shifted the color in Photoshop, creating overall fields of colored soft cloud-like forms that resist focus and “cannibalizing” original work just to create hybridized, multi-layered and self-reflexive paintings.
In 1997 Jeff was already using the computer to facilitate paintings and also to completely distance himself from the conscious part of his mind. Technique he developed then was called “frictionless drawing” – based on the software program that for the line and color fields production but, at the same time – with no direct intervention of the artist’s hand. This digital breed of automatic writing helped the artist to enjoy the freedom to experiment with his subconscious mind – while aligning his work with the long history of painting and abstraction.
Jeff Elrod’s tool are mostly editing programs like Photoshop or Illustrator – he fully adopted their typical forms of digital imagery. Once done with those, Jeff transposes this newly created computer design on canvas through classical painting, drawing, spraying or even printing.
Somewhere in the area between analogue and digital production – Jeff’s art is born, interweaving somehow with the profound history of painting, abstraction and digital movement. The relationship between hand-painted and digitally created mark-making is what triggers this artist. Elrod is using the experience of the artists from the late twentieth century abstraction movement, and combines it with the sophisticated software and print technology.
For his, let’s call it analogue techniques, Jeff chose acrylic, tape, and airbrush – he uses together with already mentioned frictionless digital drawings to create paintings with shifts between an illusory depth and flat planes of color.
In time, as Photoshop evolved, Jeff’s technique also developed, changing and discreetly embracing a new tool or trick this editing program would gain or improve in each new version. Jeff does not make plans ahead of his canvases, in the beginning the computer works, saves, and re-works many drawings. For one show, artist changed the routine, an instead of painting after digital image on canvas by his hand – he presented printing instead, used printers to produce the final work.
Another series of artwork by Jeff is called the Echo paintings and was presented to the public in 2012. All pieces belonging to this series were produced and are produced from hard-edged digital drawings he transformed into blurred images – of course, by using Photoshop. Printed in UV ink on canvas, with just two and three-tone color spread across the painting field, transforming that hard edged web into amorphous clouds of color.
This exhibition held at Brooklyn’s Journal Gallery was a certain so called “re-breakthrough” for this artist who went a bit off the radar after his galerist Pat Hearn (the one who provided his first solo show in NY) died in 2000. Interesting fact is that this gallery is kind of known for embracing mid-career or emerging artists who are pretty often lost in the frenetic contemporary art market.
That it was the right place at the right time proves the fact that collector Richard Chang, from the board of MoMA PS1, saw the Journal show and called Elrod to hold an exhibition in MoMA. Those two shows were enough to boost Jeff’s reputation among art world intellectuals.
In 2013, Jeff held an exhibition titled Nobody Sees like Us at MoMA. The artworks he presented then were made based on his previous work inspired by Brion Gysin. Only, this time, the show was about exchange this poet and artist had with writer William S. Burroughs surrounding the famous dream machine. This device was made by Somerville in the early 50s built to stimulate the optical nerves by using oscillating light frequencies. The machine was notorious for the possibility to evoke the hallucinatory effects.
This artist’s work can be found in such publications as Jeff Elrod: Nobody Sees Like Us by MoMA PS1, FOCUS: Jeff Elrod at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, BitStreams at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Glee: Painting Now at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, or Abstract Painting, Once Removed at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art.
Jeff’s paintings belong to many public and private collections like that of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Collection in Washington D.C.
Elrod received the Louis Comfort Tiffany award and the Claire Hart De Goyer Award that is given by the Dallas Museum of Art.
All images copyright © the artist
|2015||Open Source: Art at the Eclipse of Capitalism||Galerie Max Hetzler (Berlin and Paris)||Group|
|2015||Jeff Elrod||Simon Lee, Hong Kong||Solo|
|2015||Carte Blanche to Luhring Augustine||Galerie Patrick Seguin, Paris||Group|
|2014||Jeff Elrod: Rabbit Ears||Luhring Augustine, New York, NY||Solo|
|2014||Walk The Line||Simon Lee Gallery, Hong Kong||Group|
|2013||Nobody Sees Like Us||MoMA PS1, New York, NY||Solo|
|2013||Jeff Elrod||Simon Lee Gallery, London, England||Solo|
|2013||ReMap 4||ReMap, Athens||Group|
|2013||Shaking the Habitual||Kravets / Wehby Gallery, New York City, NY||Group|
|2013||Fantasy Island||Texas Gallery, Houston, TX||Group|
|2012||Echo Paintings||The Journal Gallery, New York, NY||Solo|
|2012||Eagles||Marlborough Gallery, Madrid, Spain||Group|
|2012||Mix/Remix||Luhring Augustine, New York, NY||Group|
|2012||Dedicated to you but You Weren’t Listening , Corbett vs. Dempsey||Chicago, IL||Group|
|2011||Letters from the Sky||Galerie Jean-Luc + Takako Richard, Paris, France||Solo|
|2011||El Espectro||Compact Gallery, San Luis Obispo, CA||Solo|
|2011||New Variations||Talley Dunn Gallery, Dallas, Texas||Group|
|2011||Powders, a Phial, and a Paper Book||Marlborough, New York||Group|
|2010||Flower Thief||Dunn and Brown Contemporary, Dallas, Texas||Solo|
|2010||The Incomplete||Galerie Jean-Luc + Takako Richard, Paris||Group|
|2009||Jeff Elrod||Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, Texas||Solo|
|2009||10th Anniversary Exhibition||Dunn and Brown Contemporary, Dallas, Texas||Group|
|2009||Secret Life of Objects||Midway Contemporary Art, Minneapolis, Minnesota||Group|
|2008||Jeff Elrod||Leo Koenig Inc, New York, New York||Solo|
|2008||The Incomplete||The Chelsea Art Museum, New York||Group|
|2007||Fingers Never Stop||Texas Gallery, Houston, Texas||Solo|
|2007||Beneath the Underdog , Gagosian Gallery, New York, New York||Group|
|2007||Late Liberties||John Connelly Presents, New York||Group|
|2007||Elrod/Flood/Zilm||Marty Walker Gallery, Dallas, Texas||Group|
|2006||New Paintings||Fredericks & Freiser, New York, New York||Solo|
|2005||All in the Family||Texas Gallery, Houston, Texas||Group|
|2004||Indigestible Correctness||Participant, New York||Group|
|2004||Chaotic Order||Houldsworth Gallery, London, England||Group|
|2003||Jeff Elrod, Torben Giehler, Erik Parker||Texas Gallery, Houston, Texas||Group|
|2003||Nicole Eisenman, Jeff Elrod, Torben Giehler, Tony Matelli||Galeria Marabini, Bologna, Italy||Group|
|2002||Analog Paintings||Leo Koenig Inc., New York, New York||Solo|
|2002||Schipper & Krome||Berlin, Germany||Solo|
|2002||Wall Street Rising||New York, NY||Group|
|2002||New Economy Painting||ACME, Los Angeles, California||Group|
|2002||Subject Matters||Kraverts/Wehby Gallery, New York||Group|
|2002||Abstract Redux||Danese Gallery, New York||Group|
|2002||Heike Kati Barath, Jeff Elrod, Sarah Rapson, Tam Van Tran, Cornelius Volker, Clare Woods||Cohan and Leslie, New York City, NY (closed)||Group|
|2001||Flatland, Paolo Curti & Co.||Milan, Italy||Solo|
|2001||Jeff Elrod||Angstrom Gallery, Dallas, Texas||Solo|
|2001||Bitstreams||Whitney Museum of American Art, New York||Group|
|2001||Glee: Painting Now||The Palm Beach Institute for Contemporary Art, Palm Beach, Florida||Group|
|2001||Before They Become Who They Are||Kravets/Wehby Gallery, New York||Group|
|2000||New Paintings||Pat Hearn Gallery, New York, New York||Solo|
|2000||Glee: Painting Now , The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, Connecticut||Group|
|2000||Collectors Choice||Exit Art, New York||Group|
|2000||Ambient Fiction: Jeff Elrod, Monique Prieto, Jeff Zilm||Pat Hearn Gallery, New York, New York||Group|
|2000||Pict||The Walther Phillips Gallery at Banff Centre, Banff, Canada||Group|
|2000||Jeff Elrod and Pamela Fraser||Schipper & Krome, Berlin, Germany||Group|
|1999||Jeff Elrod||ArtPace, San Antonio, Texas||Solo|
|1999||Fabstraction||Donna Beam Fine Art Gallery, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada||Group|
|1999||Texas Draws||Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, Texas||Group|
|1999||Malerei||INIT Kunst-Halle, Berlin, Germany||Group|
|1999||Jeff Elrod and Lisa Ruyter||Pat Hearn Gallery, New York||Group|
|1998||The Squarepusher||Chinati Foundation, Marfa, Texas||Solo|
|1998||Heroes & Zeros||Texas Gallery, Houston, Texas||Solo|
|1998||Painting, Now and Forever, Part I ,||Pat Hearn Gallery & Matthew Marks Gallery, New York||Group|
|1998||Abstract Painting, Once Removed||Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, Texas||Group|
|1998||Abstract Painting, Once Removed||The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri||Group|
|1997||Analog Paintings||Texas Gallery, Houston, Texas||Solo|
|1997||Oktoberfest||Texas Gallery, Houston, Texas||Group|
|1997||Disiptoey||Angstrom Gallery, Dallas, Texas||Group|
|1996||Tragic Fading Supergraphic||Art of This Century, Houston, Texas||Group|