Songs of Stories Untold

NEW YORK—De Buck Gallery is thrilled to announce Songs of Stories Untold, a solo exhibition by Ronald Jackson.  Songs of Stories Untold will be on view from Thursday April 2 to Saturday May 2, 2020. An opening reception will be held at 507 W 27th Street, New York, on Thursday April 2, from 6-8 PM.

Songs of Stories Untold is an evocative collection of paintings by Virginia-based artist, Ronald Jackson. Looming large above the viewer, eyes gaze out of history and into the present with faces partially shaded by surreal, brightly patterned masks. Jackson’s figures function not as portraits of specific individuals, but rather as symbolic windows into a collective of shared human experiences, memories and narratives of African American culture.

Stories are at the heart of Jackson’s work and make up the root of his creative process. Through interviews conducted with members of his community, he gathered the memories of elders who lived in the American South through the Jim Crow era. Combining these gathered stories, Jackson then created the visual world within which his figures are set. Through references to magical realism, textile patterns inspired by a personal connection to quilting, and allusions to theatrical sets, Jackson weaves a series of complex and multilayered compositions masterfully painted in oil. For Jackson, each figure is simultaneously anonymous and representative. He speaks of his figures as mirrors of American history that invite their viewers to create their own associations, recall their own “recent ancestry,” and ultimately imbue the works with their own imaginations of stories untold.

Ronald Jackson was born in 1970 in Helena, Arkansas. Growing up in the rural South of the Arkansas Delta, Ronald Jackson was the youngest of eleven children born to a farmer and a community organizer. His mother and father left a legacy of challenging and reshaping the norms of the racial status quo in his surrounding home communities. Jackson studied Architecture at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo CA before joining the United States Army. He served over twenty-one years in the Army and retired in 2014. Midway through his military career, Jackson began to develop himself as a professional artist. With no access to art school, Jackson engaged himself on a journey of self-discipline and personal discovery to realize his goal of becoming a self-taught artist. It was during this time as well, that global travel impacted and shaped his life perspective as the military afforded him the experience of living in a number of countries including South Korea, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Iraq, and Kuwait.

Jackson’s work has been exhibited in both solo and group exhibitions across the country and is held in a number of private collections including the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, MO and the Petrucci Family Foundation. Most recently, his work was included in ‘State of the Art 2020’ at the Momemtary, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, AR.

Visit and join in the conversation on Instagram @debuckgallery #SongsofStoriesUntold #RonaldJackson

For more information, and to receive a preview of the exhibition, please contact De Buck Gallery at / +1 212 255 5735.

Image: Ronald Jackson Her thoughts danced to the rhythms of unfamiliar songs, 2020 oil on canvas 60 x 72 inches 152.4 x 182.88 cm. Image courtesy of the artist and De Buck Gallery.


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April 25, 2020 - May 23, 2020


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