Chase was born in San Francisco, California in 1954. His grandmother, who he calls his “guardian angel”, first recognized his talent when he was five years old and signed him up for the first of many art classes.
After high school Chase quickly bounced from the San Francisco Academy of Art to the San Francisco Art Institute, and then left school to travel Europe. He lived in various cities and educated himself on the masters before returning to San Francisco in the early 1970s. There he painted murals for a bookstore, drawing inspiration from ancient Egyptian art, European cave paintings and Native American art.
In the following years, Chase’s experience with the empirical methods of the Renaissance masters and the measured abstraction of the “primitive” styles began to converge. He moved to Santa Fe in 1980 and started painting abstract landscapes, but soon began experimenting with non-objective painting and abstracted figurative work as well.
“I’m looking at my art not so much as a trailblazer to a new vocabulary of art, and more as something in a line of art history,” the artist says. “I’m rooted in the classics.” Each work refers to the ones that have come before, and also addresses a new facet of his ongoing thought.
This is how Chase has come to understand “evolution”. The artist’s abstracted figures have become his companions on this lifelong journey. The female nudes at times become so abstract as to seem like columns of pure internal energy. They’re inseparable from their surroundings, encapsulated by external energy fields of pure color.
In this way, the artist refines and concentrates reality to its essence: each person is a unique expression of energy within the larger sphere, an individual dynamo connected to the basic power source. Having defined this relationship between form and space, Chase takes the opportunity to endlessly explore its ever-changing nature.
“I like organic formulations with a relationship to the real world. What I seek to do is construct a figuration around the spiritual conditions of the being,” Chase says. “The subtext of human experience is always there.”
See Chase's work in his solo exhibition this summer, opening Friday, July 25. Read more about the artist on the Matthews Gallery blog, watch him discuss his work on our video page, and listen to his Santa Fe ArtBeat radio interview.
EDUCATION AND BACKGROUND
1973-75 Academy of Art College, San Francisco, CA 1975-77 San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA 1989 Master class with Nathan Oliveria, Santa Fe Institute, Santa Fe, NM Currently residing in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
2013 Matthews Gallery, “Figurative and Landscapes”, Solo Exhibition, Santa Fe, NM
Matthews Gallery, “Spectrum”, Group Show, Santa Fe, NM
2012 Matthews Gallery, “Mystique”, Solo Exhibition, Santa Fe, NM
2011 Matthews Gallery, “Time Capsules”, Solo Exhibition, Santa Fe, NN
2010 Deloney Newkirk Gallery, “Anthology”, Solo Exhibition, Santa Fe, NM
2009 Deloney Newkirk Gallery, “Mix It Up!”, Solo Exhibition, Santa Fe, NM
2008 Deloney Newkirk Gallery, “Fusion”, Solo Exhibition, Santa Fe, NM
2007 Deloney Newkirk Gallery, “Alias”, Solo Exhibition, Santa Fe, NM Susan Street Gallery, “Muse”, Solo Exhibition, San Diego, CA
2006 Deloney Newkirk Gallery, “Parallels”, Solo Exhibition, Santa Fe, NM Blue Gallery, “Saints and Sirens”, Kansas City, MO
2005 Larsen Gallery, “Stayed To Find”, Solo Exhibition, Scottsdale, AZ Deloney Newkirk Gallery, “Figuratively Speaking”, Solo Exhibition, Santa Fe, NM
2004 Larsen Gallery, Grand Opening Group Show, Scottsdale, AZ Deloney Newkirk Gallery, “Reach”, Solo Exhibition, Santa Fe, NM
2003 Blue Gallery, “Spectrum Abstract to Figurative”, Kansas City, MO Deloney Newkirk Gallery, “Apercu Abstract Paintings”, Santa Fe, NM
2002 Koelsh Gallery, “Inside Out”, New Abstractions, Houston, TX Tercera Gallery, “Dogs” Group Show, San Francisco, CA Deloney Newkirk Gallery, “Transpose”, Solo Exhibition, Santa Fe, NM
2001 Tercera Gallery, “Synthesis”, Paintings and Collages, San Francisco, CA Koelsch Gallery, “Meditations”, Minimalist Works, Houston, TX
Jamie Chase’s work is in public and private collections in the United States, Canada, Ireland, Europe and Japan.
As a painter, I am linked to a history of visual storytelling that may seem almost archaic in our high-tech society, and yet because image-making has such deep roots in the human psyche, its instinct continues to move through us.
The path of an artist is not only... witnessing our life in the world but also yearning to participate in the mystery of creation, the telling of the story... [which] remains one of revealing a dialogue between interior perception and exterior reflection. We all leave footprints of our journey... Some tracks lead to undiscovered territory, others revisit familiar ground with new layers of insight. All are records of living, artifacts of process, time and motion suspended for a moment of reflection. At every step of the journey are choices, which can be met in turn with infinite degrees of doubt and grace, resistance and surrender, reaction and initiation.
The quest - to find transcendence within the boundaries of flesh and matter, to see unity within the paradox, to turn the war into a dance.
The envelope is being pushed from within and without.
Faith is essential.