Jim Houser’s paintings for his upcoming show “Night Got Quiet — Not Quite Light,” opening July 11 at FFDG in San Francisco, illustrate small, personal vignettes. The Philadelphia-based artist’s works combine a multitude of influences that give them a folkloric, antiquated feel. The text Houser frequently uses recalls the hand-painted signs of past decades; his patchwork-like compositions layer colors like the different fabrics in a quilt. It’s as if his work yearns for the hand-made softness and imperfection that has largely been lost in a world of ultra-modern, computerized design.
A new father, Houser said that his relationship with his young son has given him new focus and perspective on his creative process. “Things enter my painting vocabulary very slowly, a lot of themes are considered carefully,” he said in an interview with FFDG. “Seamus has worked his way in there, my hopes and fears for him. We’ve done some collaborative work too.” The show meditates on this new phase in the artist’s life with a stripped-down visual language that remains open to the viewer’s interpretation.