Jim Crawford
October-December 23, 2016
Read an interview with the artist

Trinosophes presents the first solo exhibition in over 15 years by Detroit artist Jim Crawford (Indianapolis, Indiana).

Jim Crawford is a name that some may have never heard of, and others know well. Even as a young graduate of Wayne State University’s master of fine arts program in 1969, Crawford was a respected figure of the Cass Corridor movement. Detroit Institute of Arts influential contemporary curator, Sam Wagstaff, introduced Crawford and other artists to Detroit’s collectors. With this entrée and his own initiative, Crawford exhibited work in Detroit and in New York.

Crawford’s intellectualism and fascination with the industrial landscape align him with artists from the pivotal Cass Corridor era. His early experimentation with such unconventional materials as neon and dry ice, as well as his radical public performances and ephemeral site-specific installations also connect him to early Minimalism and related movements, such as Process Art, that emerged from the avant-garde New York and Los Angeles scenes.

Showcased in this exhibition are sculpture, assemblage and mixed media collage from the past few prolific years, as well as sculpture, drawings, photography, postcards, and self-portraiture from that exciting period of activity, c. 1967-1978 in Detroit, including photos and prints from his Pile Series, previously exhibited in the Detroit Institute of Arts seminal 1980 exhibition, "Kick Out the Jams: Detroit’s Cass Corridor 1963–1977. " An extensive selection of research materials, sketches, notes, and newspaper articles from Crawford's archive are also on display.

The concepts that defined Crawford’s early bodies of work as a twenty-something absorb him still today. He uses process, shapes and forms as language to express philosophical and spiritual ideas about light, time, and perceptual experience. This exhibition focusesin particular on what Crawford believes to be the essence of sculpture: gesture, structure, and time.

The exhibition at Trinosophes showcases three major bodies of work from the last two years: the Cat Can Series of assemblages (2016), which resulted from a chance meeting with a feral cat who visited him later in a dream; a beautifully fragile suite of sculptures, the Eggshell Series (2015-2016) inspired by his fortune-telling grandmother; and mixed media collage entitled Watch Series (c. 2002-2016), representing his preoccupation with destroying man’s conception of time.