Sea Legs is the first solo museum exhibition for Xylor Jane, a Massachusetts-based artist whose paintings merge the subjective and handmade with a standardized mathematical language. Sea Legs includes a series of Jane’s recent paintings, made up of regimented numerical patterns and spectrums of color.
The paintings in Sea Legs look like vibrant abstractions but are in fact made up of thousands of dots, methodically applied according to complex numerical systems. Jane regularly uses palindromes and prime numbers in her paintings, along with the Fibonacci sequence—the golden ratio used by Mother Nature and financial analysts alike. She also employs the Julian date system, a calendaring sequence that has assigned a unique decimal to each day since January 1, 4713 BC. Through compulsive patterning, Jane subverts and queers logical systems as a means of ordering the universe. Her signature use of the ROYGBIV color scale riffs off of the gay pride flag, but insists on the inclusion of indigo—presenting a challenge to the commodification of LGBTQIO symbols and broader normative systems.
At its core, Xylor Jane’s work is embedded in human experience. One recent painting lists the full moons of her life by Julian day number, and another is a hauntingly precise numerological translation of a near death experience. Rather than existing as industrialized abstractions, her paintings approach the spiritual and even the sublime.
Xylor Jane: Sea Legs is organized by Jeffrey Uslip.
This exhibition has been made possible by SMMoA’s Ambassador Circle. Support has also been provided by the City of Santa Monica and the Santa Monica Arts Commission and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.