Jessica Houston holds an MA from Columbia University. She has travelled to the Arctic on numerous occasions, including as an invited artist aboard a Cape Farewell voyage. She has created site-specific works for the New Jersey MOCA, Asbury Park, New Jersey; the Castello di Corigliano, Puglia, Italy; Governors Island, NY, NY and The Albany Airport, Albany, NY. Select exhibitions & projects include Art Mûr Gallery, (Montrèal, QC), Art in Odd Places (NY, NY), International Polar Year Conference (Oslo, Norway), The Painting Center (NY, NY), Printed Matter (NY, NY), Museum of Contemporary Art (Detroit, MI), Arts House (Melbourne, Australia) and Chiesa di San Lorenzo (Florence, Italy). She has been awarded residencies at The Albers Foundation in Bethany, CT; NES in Skagaströnd, Iceland; at the CAMAC Centre of Art, Science and Technology in France; and with Rosenclaire in Italy. She was nominated for a Rema Hort Mann Grant. She teaches at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and she has lectured at Columbia University; Concordia University; Ontario College of Art & Design University; Montréal Museum of Fine Arts; and The Art Institute of Florence, Italy.
Jessica Houston’s multi media works concern perception, ecology and time. With minimal means, she quietly challenges modern myths glorifying technology and progress. The way the viewer sees the piece—through a tinted window, an architectural intervention, or a reflected color—is integral to her practice. Her works are intrinsically connected to their environment; they grow out of deeper questions about sustainable engagement with the natural world. Creative analysis of latent forces—physics of light and color, the movement of the sun—allows prolonged perceptual engagement with something that unfolds slowly, in real time.
Houston uses color to point to the physiological and the psychological aspects of perception; color lies at the boundary of what we (think) we see and what we remember. In this way, color serves as a breath gap, a way to encounter something differently. Through the juxtaposition of dichotomies—abstraction and representation, nature and culture, right side up/upside down—the work points to the relationship between things, and the spaces in between.