“Sunset, Fifield Point” by Jon Imber
“Power of the Mark” is an exhibition of Jon Imber’s pastel drawings from the 1990’s. This exhibition is particularly cogent in that this was one of the last shows Jon curated last winter (along with Peggy Greenhut Golden) at a time when his ALS was progressing rapidly. He delighted in knowing that this particular body of work would be exhibited as it documents a chapter in his life in Stonington when he and his wife, the artist Jill Hoy were courting…..a time of pure joy. The rich, colorful, bold and gestural strokes are a prelude to his later paintings.
Over the course of Imber’s substantial career, his work has gone through much development and change. Influences range from Hartley, Van Gogh, Cezanne, Beckman and of course Philip Guston whom he studied with while working towards his MFA at Boston University. He received his BFA from Cornell University. Jon was on the faculty of Harvard University and taught at Rhode Island School of Design, the School of Visual Arts in NYC, and Massachusetts College of Art. His legacy lives on through his work which is in numerous museum collections including Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Danforth Museum, DeCordova Museum, Farnsworth Museum, Fogg Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.
A new DVD titled Jon Imber’s Left Hand directed by Richard Kane and produced in conjunction with the Union of Maine Visual Artists is a remarkable record of Jon’s determination to continue to paint as his ALS progressed. It is a real testament to his tenacity, courage and passion to paint. An abbreviated version of the film will be shown during the run of the exhibit.
Jon’s work has been included in many publications including Paintings of Maine: A New Selection by Carl Little, Boston Modern, Figurative Expressionism as Alternative Modernism by Judith Bookbinder.
“He is one of the most important painters of his generation,” said Katherine French, executive director of Danforth Art in Framingham. She placed Mr. Imber in the lineage of Boston Expressionists, those artists whose work lean on emotional content and a painterly style.