Born in Sacramento in 1939, the artist Richard Jackson was one of the leading figures in the Californian art scene in the 1970s and 1980s. Influenced by abstract expressionism and action painting, Jackson developed a combination of painting and action that, much like documentation, exposes the physical effort and time spent in creating a work of art.
Already during his early years, Jackson put a spotlight on his artistic practice, which he regarded less as a mythical, inspired creative process than a hands-on production of a work of art: assembling the stretcher, attaching the canvas to the frame, applying the paint.
Later in his career, Jackson delegated the painting process to complex machines that he used as protagonists or props in his works. This book introduces a selection of his installations entitled Rooms, which feature cartoonlike figures – often dogs or ducks with human traits or plastic figures resembling Playmobil toys – spouting paint from their mouths or genitals. Significantly, Jackson does not involve spectators in the installation, but presents them with the final “painting” like a sort of oversized tableau.