Jenny E. Balisle earned a B.A. in Art and Communication from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and a M.F.A. from the Academy of Art College in San Francisco. She has exhibited in numerous solo and group shows including the de Young Museum Artist-in-Residence, San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, Triton Museum, Art Museum of Los Gatos, Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs at LA International Airport, Museu Brasileiro Sao Paulo, Farmington Museum, Gallery 555 of the Oakland Museum of California, Torrance Art Museum, Chicago Cultural Center, Korean Cultural Center, Harvard University, and Fresno Art Museum.
Her work has also been featured in such publications as NONPROFIT QUATERLY, The Drum Literary Magazine, The Renascent Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, Sculptural Pursuits Magazine, and ZYZZYVA journal. She was also commissioned for the original Hearts in San Francisco public art and South San Francisco Utility Box Mural Project.
Balisle currently works as an artist, curator, advocate, writer, and M.F.A. instructor at the Academy of Art University.
My art practice incorporates three separate media; abstract paintings, pen and ink drawings, and sculptural installations made from heated acrylic sheets. The body of work is conceptually linked by researching dichtomous relationships-simple and complex, beautiful and grotesque, micro and macro perspectives, and natural and manmade environments. This interest in opposing forces correlates to my process: Working ambidextrously, I engage both hands in an attempt to unify the obsessive and intentional marks made by my right hand with the open and lyrical tendencies of my left.
These discrete mediums showcase my findings while exploring the unique properties of the materials. In my paintings, I manipulate solvents with oils to mimic occurrences in the natural world. This process is time-intensive; the painting’s multiple layers become an intricate surface that can take over two years to dry. Drawing and sculpture engage other modes of thinking while the paintings cure. My drawings incorporate repetitions and variations of line, and the immediacy of the materials enables investigation of scale and pattern. The sculptural installations draw in three dimensions, using contortions that reflect light and extend shadows beyond its surface.
Creating a visual language by analyzing and altering line is the foundation to my art practice. The bend in the acrylic installation, the mark in the pen and ink drawing, and the brushstroke made in oil paint are evidence of this exploration. Some elements are delicate, organic, or blended, while others are forced, fabricated, or distorted. I seek a visceral process through research, and am inspired by the progression from disorientation to clarity.