Jessie Homer French
Over five decades, Jessie Homer French has produced a catalog of what she describes as “regional narrative paintings” that portray the landscapes of rural California and elsewhere. With tiny, meticulous brushstrokes, the artist builds worlds populated by small human figures as well as domesticated and wild animals. Drawing from self-taught and folk traditions of painting, she makes flat, stylized compositions that render her natural subjects in great detail. She often works from multiple reference photographs to capture the forms of native trees and species.
French frequently devises compositions divided between upper and lower levels that reveal the entities hidden under land and sea. Cemeteries are a frequent subject. Her paintings also exemplify the artist’s regular return to sites of environmental breaches and man-made disasters, in works that incorporate hazard signs and billowing plumes of fire and ash.
Jessie Homer French (b. 1940, New York) is self-taught and is a self-proclaimed “regional narrative painter.” She has had solo exhibitions at Massimo De Carlo, Milan and London (2023, 2021); Various Small Fires, Los Angeles, Dallas, and Seoul (2022, 2021, 2020, 2017); Mother’s Tankstation, Dublin and London (2019); Craig Krull Gallery, Santa Monica (2017); Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena (2015); Winchester Galleries, Victoria, British Columbia (2009, 2006, 2004, 2001, 1999); and Ankrum Gallery, Los Angeles (1989, 1984, 1976). Her work has also been included in group exhibitions at François Ghebaly, Los Angeles (2020); Clearing, New York (2020); and Palm Springs Art Museum, California (2018), among other locations. Most recently her work was included in the 59th Venice Biennale (2022).