Jim Isermann is an artist based in Palm Springs, California. Since receiving his MFA from the California Institute of Arts in 1980, Isermann's artistic output has chronicled the conflation of post-war industrial design and fine art through popular culture. His functional installations reclaim a utopian view of the future while revealing the pathos of that failed project, and have maintained an unflagging belief in the beauty of utilitarian design. Throughout the 1990s Isermann explored traditional handicraft techniques (e.g stained glass, weaving), producing works that are unashamedly beautiful; a beauty that is integral to the limitations and specific characteristics of fabrication. In 1998, following a 15-year survey exhibition at the University of Wisconsin’s Institute of Visual Arts, Isermann began to use a computer to design manufactured elements. Since then, his realized installations and commissions have employed mass-produced thermal die-cut vinyl decals, plotter-cut Mylar, ContraVision© ink jet printed vinyl, and vacuum-formed ABS plastic panels. In 2003, a 35-foot chandelier, custom carpeting, and furniture were permanently installed in the atrium of Genentech Hall at the UCSF Mission Bay Campus in San Francisco.
Currently, Isermann divides his practice between producing labor-intensive studio work for gallery and museum exhibitions, and designing and overseeing commissioned projects that involve industrial manufacturing processes. Most recently Isermann has mounted solo exhibitions at Deitch Projects, New York; Corvi-Mora, London; and Richard Telles Fine Art, Los Angeles. He has completed commissioned projects for the Hammer Museum at UCLA, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Yale University Art Museum, Princeton University, Stanford University, and University of California, Riverside, where he is a Professor in the Department of Art.