Jim Houser’s works are narrative microcosms in which he compulsively presents moments, instants, memories from his life as if it were a self-examination process, cathartically translating them into visual poetry with a pictorial, unique, and distinctive language. By cataloguing his experiences and emotions, the artist creates his own vocabulary of images that guides us through his personal curative iconography.
Jim Houser’s aesthetic combines stylized figures, hand-drawn typography, sound-symbolic words, visual sensations, and geometric shapes, creating quilt-like collages in a cohesive color palette. Houser layers acrylic on wood, fabric and found objects, blurring the lines between collage and sculpture.
This deceptively dimensional quality is further highlighted when the pieces are assembled into one of the artist’s elaborate installations, adding to the complexity of each individual piece by emphasizing a greater inter-connectivity to the body of work as a whole.
Once combined, it becomes clear that all of his works are associative and directly related, connected to each other as if part of a mapping system. And so, much like a position on a map corresponds to an actual physical location, his works mirror events, places, or attachments in his life, thus marking his position in the world.
Jim Houser was born in 1973 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the city where he currently resides. He is a self-taught artist and a honor member of the Philly-based artist collective Space1026. Houserʼs collages, paintings and installations have been exhibited extensively in institutions such as the Laguna Art Museum and the Philadelphia Museum of Art as well as galleries in Milan, Paris, Sydney and São Paulo. His work is included in the permanent collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Some more noteworthly exhibitions: A Postion On A MAP, Galleria PAtricia Armocida, Milan, Italy, 2014; Night Got Quiet – Not Quite Light, Fecal Face Dot Gallery, San Francisco, California, 2014; Search Party, Jonathan Levine Gallery, New York, U.S.A., 2013; As Quiet As Its Kept, Lebasse Projects, Los Angeles, U.S.A., 2012; The Homebody, Subliminal Projects, Los Angeles, U.S.A., 2010; The Pregnant Pause, Monster Children Gallery, Sydney, Australia, 2010; Make Room For The Emptiness, Jonathan LeVine Gallery, New York, U.S.A., 2009; The Tip of the Sword, Galleria Patricia Armocida, Milan, Italy, 2009; asobviousasaskull, Jonathan LeVine Gallery, New York, NY, 2009; Created by Moonlight, Colette Galerie, Paris, France, 2008; Mere Inches, Merry Karnowsky Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, 2008; This Beating Heart Acts as a Timer, Painted Bride Art Center, Philadelphia, U.S.A., 2007; This Place is Ours Now, Merry Karnowsky Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, 2006; Babel, Spector Gallery, Philadelphia, PA, 2005; systemsanderrors, Jonathan LeVine Gallery, New York, NY, 2005; Paint and Destroy, Spector Gallery, Philadelphia, PA, 2001; Gaper Delay, Spector Gallery, Philadelphia, PA, 2000; Earthman, Spector Gallery, Philadelphia, PA, 1999; Jim Houser, Space 1026, Philadelphia, PA, 1998.
Selected group exhibitions: AND YET NOT YET – works by Jim Houser and Adam Wallacavage, Paradigm Gallery + Studio, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 2017; Welcome to New Jersey, Jonathan LeVine Projects, Jersey City, New Jersey, 2017; Strage Powers, Gastman, Los Angeles, California, 2016; Folk Like Us: Ben Venom, Dennis McNett, Souther Salazar, and Jim Houser Jonathan LeVine Projects, New York, NY, 2016; Jim Houser and Isaac Tin Wei Lin – joint exhibition, Black Book Gallery, Denver, Colorado, 2015; LAX - LHR, StolenSpace Gallery, London, United Kingdom, 2015; Oh, The Places We Have Been: Rediscovering the Past, Jonathan LeVine Projects, New York, 2015; All That We See or Seem…, Vertical Gallery, Chicago, Illinois, 2014; Group Show: Saints & Sinners, StolenSpace Gallery, London, United Kingdom, 2014;Fairey, Hecox, and Houser, with Shepard Fairey and Evan Hecox, Black Book Gallery, Denver U.S.A., 2011; Americana. Four person show with Adam Wallacavage, Doze Green, and Tara McPherson, Choque Cultural Gallery, São Paulo, Brazil, 2009; In the Land of Retinal Delights: The Juxtapoz Factor, Laguna Art Museum. Laguna Beach, U.S.A. 2009; Weʼll Make a Lover of You, ArtCenter of South Florida. Miami, U.S.A., 2006.