Jack Madson
The Artist

Jack Madson knows down in his bones that a painting is an organism of light; that it must illumine, not penetrate what is meant to remain an enigma. His abstracts move us adeptly from one relation to the next, tracing a route of visual insight that skirts the edges of our associations. Yet with Madson we get no trickery or easy conclusions; he surrenders symbols in exchange for enlightened ascent to the sources of joy.

Given his uncanny amplitude, Madson cannot be content with canvas alone. A consummate painter, he can also forge metal with masterful strokes. He can carve and adorn authentic Noh masks, hand-build or restore a tansu chest. He sculpts or fabricates stunning objects from bone, shell, stone, wire, clay, cord or feathers. His color slides are arrestingly incandescent, and he plays haunting music on bamboo flutes that he makes for himself and friends. The two dozen years Madson lived in Kyoto are a key to who he is: a renaissance man of the West with Asian currents coursing through his veins.

--Stewart Wachs
Associate Professor,
Kyoto University of Foreign Studies