1998-2000 Abstract and Figurative Expressionism: Common Ground; De Cordova Museum, Lincoln, MA, Brattleboro Museum of Art: Brattleboro, VT.
1993 Yale Collects Yale, Yale Art Gallery, New Haven, CT
1992 Selections from the Collection; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA Selections from the Collection; Rose Art Museum, Waltham, MA Travelers, Rugg Road Gallery, Boston, MA.
Implications, Hal Katzen Gallery, New York, NY.
Coming and Going, Multicultural Arts Center, Cambridge, MA.
1991 New Editions, Rugg Road Gallery, Boston, MA.
1990 Bank of Boston Gallery, Boston, MA.
Works on Paper, Frick Gallery, Belfast, ME.
Works from Rugg Road, Sharon Arts Center, Sharon, NH.
1989 Explorations in Handmade Paper, De Cordova Museum, Lincoln, MA Restive Visions, Rose Art Museum, Waltham, MA.
Nature Reassembled, Newton Arts Center, Newton, MA.
1987 New Talent, New Work, Harcus Gallery, Boston, MA.
Thesis Show, Yale University, New Haven, CT.
1986 Young Artist Exhibition, Provincetown Art Assoc, Provincetown, MA Recent Images, Three Painters, Newton Arts Center, Newton, MA1985 Figuration Today, Major
Paintings, Harcus Gallery, Boston, MA.
My abstract art explores organic invention, with faith in alchemy and an adventurous concept of time. Elements of the past, present and future separate, blend and interchange until they make sense in a way that the work dictates. Discovering the soul of the painting is the content, with the intent that each piece surprises in new ways every time it is seen, making its individual and evolving nature the reward.
Essay by Art Historian and critic Dore Ashton
In 1987 Richard Jacobs a graduate of Cooper Union and Yale, set off for Asia as a Henry Luce Scholar. What he found in Bali, where he studied indigenous arts, including the creation of batik at woodcarvings used for ritual functions, was a liberation from the conventions of his own culture where, as he says, Art is merely a precious commodity. His experience in his studio, where he felt in harmony with the rice workers, whose lives were governed by three-month cycles of planting and harvesting, radically altered his vision as a painter. He explored techniques rarely exploited by western artists in order to reflect his experiences as a sentient being, subsisting in a landscape of rare light and color, that would be inscribed in his every gesture. These paintings, in which the saturated often high-keyed colors speak in a complex, many layered idiom, conjure not only a place of luminous splendor, but the living experience of their author who, as he says, had himself become, in his studio in Bali, a medium.
Essay by Carl Belz, Curator and Museum Director
The high ambition that Richard Jacobs brings his art has become increasingly focused in the several series of paintings he has produced since returning from Bali, Indonesia in 1988. The influences he accepted there- a technique partly derived from batik, a certain exoticness of imagery, were evident in the first pictures he completed his Waltham studio, but they became quickly absorbed as he determined to clarify his concerns and established a personal voice in relationship to them... I saw the work about once a year and each studio visit left me convinced that Jacobs had pushed into new pictorial territory. This experience suggests to me not that each successive body of work has been better than the last, as though an improvement on it, for each has in its turn felt accomplished and fully satisfying; it suggests, rather, that the maker of the paintings has resisted contentment in those accomplishments and satisfactions, as though the issues hypostatized in them, however persuasive or inventive their articulation in any one instance may be, nonetheless remain challenging and elusive. Such are the terms of high ambition.
The issues I have in mind are old ones having to do with the art of painting, specifically with the urge to make paintings that generate light through color- not to depict light as we experience it in the world, though it's life giving presence there is surely an inspiration, but to create light through the materials of the medium itself, painting's light embodied in paintings color... The affect of the new pictures is compelling, even magical. As such, it reminds us of painting's extraordinary resources and why we were so attracted to it in the first place.