MDJ 20230607 01

Matthew Day Jackson


Jul 7 – Aug 19, 2023
Exhibition Details:

Matthew Day Jackson
Jul 7 – Aug 19, 2023


267 Itaewon-ro


Press Release


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Above: Matthew Day Jackson, Two Moons (after Bierstadt), 2023 © Matthew Day Jackson

Pace is pleased to present an exhibition of new works by Matthew Day Jackson at its arts complex in Seoul.

Running from July 7 to August 19, the show, titled Counter-Earth and marking Jackson’s first solo exhibition in Seoul, will spotlight four otherworldly landscape paintings and one mesmeric seascape painting created by the artist this year. The paintings included in Counter-Earth—which will be installed on the gallery’s ground floor—are part of the same body of work that Jackson presented this spring in Against Nature, his debut solo exhibition with Pace in New York.

In his expansive practice spanning painting, sculpture, installation, collage, drawing, photography, video, and performance, Jackson explores a wide range of subjects, often grappling with notions of American national identity and pursuits of false utopia throughout the country’s history. In his research-based, experimental process, the artist considers conceptual and physical underpinnings equally significant, incorporating traditional, industrial, and found materials in his work across mediums. At the core of his practice is a deep interest in finding similarities within binaries and dichotomies, particularly the simultaneity of beauty and horror.

The artist’s upcoming presentation in Seoul is named for a hypothetical planetary body in the Pythagorean astronomical system. This ancient idea of a “Counter-Earth” situated opposite the Earth, perpetually hidden from view, is so compelling that it continues to emerge in contemporary science fictional literature and film as an alternate, tandem reality in the multiverse. On a conceptual level, Jackson’s show in Seoul is the “Counter-Earth” to his recent presentation with Pace in New York, which concludes its run just as the exhibition in the Korean capital opens. Though they are anchored by narrative and thematic throughlines, these nuanced exhibitions comprise entirely distinct groups of paintings.

For his latest body of work, Jackson has drawn inspiration from 19th century landscape painting and photography— including works by Caspar David Friedrich, Albert Bierstadt, and Eadweard Muybridge—along with the conventions of landscape in science fiction, where the strange and familiar converge. He created the paintings on view in Counter-Earth through combinations of physical and digital modes of making, bringing issues of materiality and form to the fore of his compositions. To produce these new paintings, the artist uses a semi-autonomous laser process that imbues his works with an uncanny feel. Layering images sourced from landscape photography and painting as well as everyday scenes he has captured on his iPhone, Jackson invites questions of medium, material, and meaning that are only answered through sustained consideration and interrogation.

Several paintings in Jackson’s Seoul exhibition are smaller scale than those he showed in Against Nature at Pace’s New York gallery, offering a more intimate view of the highly detailed, illusionistic scenes he has forged. Whereas Against Nature focused on landscapes, Counter-Earth will feature a new seascape by the artist. Titled Frozen Sea (after CDF) (2023), this richly textured and vibrantly colored work references Friedrich’s The Sea of Ice (1823–24), recasting the atmospheric shipwreck scene in a futuristic, celestial register. Cutting across all the paintings in Counter-Earth are tensions between artifice and authenticity; reality and unreality; and ambiguity and clarity.

Coursing through Jackson’s presentations in both New York and Seoul are issues related to present-day treatment of the Earth’s natural environment as an extraterrestrial, inexhaustibly bountiful entity. In the artist’s hands, recognizable formations and phenomena from nature are rendered supernatural and fantastical, transcending the conventions of representational art making.

Concurrent to this presentation of paintings, ceramics by artist Laura Seymour, Jackson’s wife, will be displayed in the gallery’s on-site teahouse. Seymour, who has been making ceramics for 14 years, has shifted from functional tableware to sculptural vessels that bridge function and form. Working mainly in clay, Seymour explores tensions between sensibility and desirability in her practice. The project that she will show in Seoul features custom boxes with tops forged with materials from Jackson’s in-progress paintings, reflecting the natural dialogue that exists between Seymour and Jackson as artists and partners who share studio and living spaces in Brooklyn, New York. The red stoneware and glaze treatment of each set on view in the teahouse can be understood in conversation with Jackson’s landscape scenes, but the ceramics’ unassuming, practical qualities—in opposition to his paintings—are inspired by the naturalism and modest aspects of Buncheong making traditions. The glazed surfaces of these idiosyncratic works reveal interactions with iron in the clay, which lend each piece its own charisma and distinctive personality.


Featured Works

Matthew Day Jackson, Tree with Foliage, 2023, wood, acrylic paint, urethane plastic, fiberglass, UV pigment, lead, stainless steel frame, 81-1/4" × 57-1/4" (206.4 cm × 145.4 cm)
Matthew Day Jackson, Hollow (after CDF), 2023, wood, acrylic paint, urethane plastic, fiberglass, UV pigment, lead, stainless steel frame, 61-1/4" × 47-1/4" × 2" (155.6 cm × 120 cm × 5.1 cm)
Matthew Day Jackson, Frozen Sea (after CDF), 2023, wood, acrylic paint, urethane plastic, fiberglass, UV pigment, lead, stainless steel frame, 41-1/4" × 61-1/4" × 2" (104.8 cm × 155.6 cm × 5.1 cm)
Matthew Day Jackson, Geyser, 2023, wood, acrylic paint, urethane plastic, fiberglass, UV pigment, lead, stainless steel frame, 61-1/4" × 47-1/4" × 2" (155.6 cm × 120 cm × 5.1 cm)
Matthew Day Jackson, Two Moons (after Bierstadt), 2023, wood, acrylic paint, urethane plastic, fiberglass, UV pigment, lead, stainless steel frame, 59-1/2" × 98-3/4" × 2" (151.1 cm × 250.8 cm × 5.1 cm)

Installation Views

Exhibition Film

Matthew Day Jackson in Conversation with Jaeyong Park

This new film captures a spirited conversation between Matthew Day Jackson and Jaeyong Park—a curator based in Seoul—during a walkthrough of Counter-Earth.


About the Artist

Matthew Day Jackson has cultivated a practice encompassing sculpture, painting, collage, photography, drawing, video, performance, and installation. Jackson’s work, which is often monumental in scale, engages with a wide range of subjects, from the historical and scientific to the futuristic and fantastical.

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