Opening April 23 through May 21, 2021 – REGISTER NOW TO SEE IT

ComeOnComeOnComeOn – Featuring abstract and local artist Jef Bourgeau

It would be hard to think of an American artist more in sync with the current cultural moment than Jef Bourgeau. His canvases are big, blunt, clumsy fragments of color and rumpled, spinning geometrics,.


His paintings have a simple presence, often belied by a vertiginous frontality. He seems to be thinking about how some areas of a Cy Twombly or a Ken Noland painting fit together and others don’t. In his own work, he attempts to recover that unsteady instant of eureka as opposed to those misfired ones. Success or not, Bourgeau’s work always seems fresh. They are a jumping-off point rather than the culmination of something.


The speed of digital media can also stimulate what Milan Kundera calls the “pleasure of slowness.” Bourgeau’s current work embraces this contrariness, with all the purity and rigor of old abstraction but without its loaded baggage. His cybered-up trompe l’oeil paintings regenerate abstract art’s DNA into a sort of fuzzy vertigo mixed with a feckless reverie.


– Jerry Saltz


Since 1981, Jef Bourgeau has eaten the brains and guts of the first hundred years of abstraction – only to transpose it all back onto canvas in new and playful ways as he drags and drops, scans, compresses and unpacks, crashes and reboots.

– Jerry Saltz, A Zombie On The Wall

“The work of American artist Jef Bourgeau is formed from a photographic combination of digital and analog practices.”

In his Detroit studio, Bourgeau uses basic editing programs like Photoshop and Illustration to rework photo-based imagery into abstractions. Bourgeau then transfers these abstractions onto canvas as paintings. His work thereby captures a moment when analog and digital creation merge, connecting the disparate histories of photography, abstraction and computer innovation: placing Bourgeau firmly at the vanguard of those artists redefining what a ‘painting’ is in our tech-driven 21st century.

As an early innovator in digital art, Bourgeau has explored the boundaries of constructed space while playing with the interaction of standard perception and art. By folding and crumpling and crushing, his most recent work interrupts familiar art tropes and invites the viewer to untangle that history.

Jef Bourgeau’s art has exhibited in galleries in London, Amsterdam, Seattle, San Francisco, New York, New Mexico, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago, Berlin, Beijing, and Austria. His work has shown in museums in Boston, Houston, Columbus, Detroit, San Jose, Cleveland, Portland, Honolulu, Mumbai, Roubaix, Vienna and Tokyo. It has been written about in the NY Times, Chicago Tribune, Art in America, the Village Voice, Art News, Flash Art, Reason, the Art Newspaper, Tema Celeste and Vanity Fair. His work has also been discussed and cited in several books, including: Visual Shock by Michael Kammen (winner of the Pulitzer Prize), Cultural Policy by Toby Miller and George Yudice, and The Artist’s Quest for Inspiration by Peggy Hadden.