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Jasper Marsalis (b. 1995 in Los Angeles, CA, US) lives and works in Los Angeles. He graduated with a BFA from The Cooper Union, NY, in 2017. His solo exhibitions have been held at Emalin, London, UK (2022); Midway Contemporary Art, Minneapolis, US (2020); Kristina Kite Gallery, Los Angeles, US (2020); and Svetlana, New York, US (2018). Selected group exhibitions include Emalin, London, UK (2021); Lehman College Art Gallery, New York, US (2020); cfcp, New York, US (2019); and The Cooper Union, New York, US (2017).
Working across painting, sculpture, music and text, Jasper Marsalis elaborates a parallel between the space of painting and a performer on stage, both of which entail an experience of being consumed by audiences. Glaring spotlights are depicted throughout his work, which obscure their intended object and act as obstacles to vision. By troubling perception, Marsalis interrogates the ocular centrism of painting and the associated role of spectacle and access.
Performance (and its depiction) is the middle ground between his music and his visual art, as is, arguably, the aporia of being center stage yet disappearing. In these paintings, the space of the spectacle is more visible than the performer, who is abstracted to showcase the performance’s essence, a mood. What results is a void where one might expect a show or event. Time and place—nowness and presence—emerged as the two key vectors of this show and the culled materials.
– Lauren Mackler, Jasper Marsalis: ♫ A Star Like Any Other—, ARTFORUM, June 2020
The paintings are linked by an unsettling emptiness, much like Stadium. It’s a self-conscious experience, walking around and inside Stadium, because the installation refuses an objective purpose or one identifiable subject. The empty space Marsalis creates is replete with anticipation; I am left waiting for something to happen, for something to reveal itself, or just appear. Marsalis does not satisfy this anxiety with anything specific, leaving us to reckon with our aimless bodies, our selves.
– Alexandra Nicome, The Convex (No Place Is or Ever Was Empty): On Black construction and Jasper Marsalis's Stadium, Mn Artists, Walker Art Center, January 2021
As a musician, Marsalis performs under the moniker Slauson Malone 1. Recent performances have taken place at Cafe OTO, London, UK (2022), PhilaMOCA, Philadelphia, US (2021) and The Underground Museum, Los Angeles, US (2019). His publications include the albums for Star (Crater Speak) (2022); Vergangenheitsbewältigung (Crater Speak) (2020) and A Quiet Farwell, 2016–2018 (Crater Speak) (2019), and the book Crater Speak (2020).