James “ Casper” Jankowiak’ is a Chicago based self-taught artist whose work engages audiences through a unique multi-layered approach. His paintings and installations are complex works that reflect a definitive play on color, texture and light. This approach gives Jankowiak’s work a distinctive character and place in today’s contemporary art community.
His work embodies the contradictions found in all urban settings related to social change, identity and both the aesthetic and cultural aspects of art. To fully appreciate this range audiences must view Jankowiak’s body of work ranging from his much earlier aerosol art pieces to his contemporary creations that reinterpret notions of symmetry while seemlesly blending elements of light, shape and to create his signature free form works. These works are compelling in their ability to move between artistic and intellectual disciplines to reveal an underlying depth, richness and specificity. In all, his approach speaks to the permeability of boundaries that we erect in art and society. With this in mind, his work reveals a distinctive yet subtle ethos that evokes a sense of intellectual and artistic momentum.
Jankowiak’s approach resides in a larger tradition of visual, verbal and written art that defines Chicago as an artistic community. Jankowiak’s work encompasses the term community in a reflexive way mirroring both his own upbringing and the reality of art to be our interpretative lens for aesthetic pleasure or dialogue. Throughout his career, Jankowiak has embodied these qualities in visually and philosophically distinct ways that will continue to resonate with audiences.
Dr. Raymond Codrington, PhD
Project Director at the Aspen Institute Roundtable on Community Change
2008 32ndUrban Space Chicago, IL. “Southside Spiritual”
2007 Blackbird Chicago, IL. “Salon Series” Collaboration with chef Paul Kahan
2007 Moustache Gallery Chicago, IL. “Dirty Little Whirlwind”
2001 Century 900 Chicago, IL “Snap!”
2009 Co-Prosperity Sphere Chicago, IL. “Version>09 , Bridged and Sheltered” collaborative installation
2009 Crewest Los Angeles, CA “The Sharpie Show” group show
2008 Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, IL. “Living and Working” group show featuring teaching artists
2007 Northwestern University Settlement House Chicago, IL. “Summer Show” group show
2006 Lloyd Dobler Chicago, IL. “Wondergems” group show
2006 Highland Park Art Center Highland Park, IL. “Remembering Childhood” group show
2005 Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, IL. “What’s Worth Fighting For” collaboration with 14 year old son for the MCA’s “Artists and Their Kids” series
2005 Scion Culver City Gallery Los Angeles, CA. “Installation” group show
2004 1920 Gallery , School of the Art Institute of Chicago Chicago, IL. “Throwing a Spin in the Works” group show
2003 rEvolution Gallery San Francisco, CA. “Underfoot” group show
1999 The Butcher Shop Chicago, IL. “Ten by Ten” group show
1998 The Chopin Theater Chicago, IL. “Turnstyles” group show
1997 Heart Gallery Paris, France “Media Chronic” group show
1993 Mary Leigh Block Gallery Evanston IL. “From the Border” group show, live painting performance
1992 Beret International Chicago, IL “Poetry in Motion” group show