Jenny E. Balisle earned a B.A. in Art and Communication from University of Wisconsin-Steven's 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: Patterns, de Young Museum Artist-in-Residence, San Francisco, CA, 2013; Paths Intersected, San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, San Luis Obispo, CA, 2013; Triton Museum’s Painting Competition & Exhibition, Santa Clara, CA, 2012; Factor XX, Art Museum of Los Gatos, Los Gatos, CA, 2011; A Book About Death, Museu Brasileiro, Sao Paulo, Brasil, 2010; Paperworks!, Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, Novato, CA, 2008; Gateway to Imagination, Farmington Museum, Farmington, NM, 2008; Gallery 555, Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, CA, 2008; All-In Juried Art Exhibition, Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA, 2007; RIC ArtFutura, Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, IL, 2007; TarFest, Korean Cultural Center, Los Angeles, CA 2006; Infinity 2005, Errata and Contradiction 2004, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA; The Golda Foundation’s First Annual Juried Painting Exhibition, Poetry Competition & Gala Evening in Partnership with the Fresno Art Museum, Fresno, CA 2004.
Her work has also been featured in such publications as American Art Collector, The Renascent Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, Sculptural Pursuits Magazine, Best of California Artists and Artisans 2006 and ZYZZYVA journal. She was also commissioned for the original Hearts in San Francisco public art project in 2004.
Balisle currently works as an artist, curator, advocate, writer, and M.F.A. instructor at the Academy of Art University.
My art practice incorporates work in 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 my interest in an array of dichotomous 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 my work in an attempt to unify the obsessive and intentional marks made by my right hand with the open and lyrical tendencies of my left.
My work in these discrete media is grounded both in necessity, and in my desire to explore 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 and allow me to work while my paintings cure. My drawings incorporate meditative repetitions of line and organic forms, and the immediacy of the materials enables me to experiment with scale, pattern, and speed of execution. The sculptural installations let me draw in three dimensions, using folds and contortions that suggest both the natural and manmade world.
Creating 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 create illusions of topographical surfaces. Some elements are forced, incorporated, or blended, while others are skewed, twisted, or implied. I seek a visceral process, and am inspired by the progression from disorientation to clarity.