Jessica Houston

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The Times

Since 2006, I have been painting over newspapers—obliterating, whiting out, and rearranging the page. The subtle layering of the works suggests permeability; everything exists simultaneously. Alongside the trauma, beauty, and calamity of the everyday world, there is the possibility of silent observation. My hand intervenes with the matrix of the stereotype, working within the existing grid system to reveal and ultimately undermine it. The act of painting echoes the ways in which the media selects, eliminates, and frames information. The paintings subvert and transform language, and create a new form made of line, mark, measure, and composition.

 The date always remains revealed. The newspaper becomes a calendar, an indicator of the unavoidable fact of impermanence, and of the reality of having arrived to the present moment. The daily act of painting over the page evokes the element of repetition and seriality—always the same, always different. In their multilayered process of making, where chance and time collide, these paintings become palimpsests, offering the possibility of revelation through simple means.