Jane Burton: Paintings

Jane Burton, a San Francisco based artist, graduated from UC Davis in the late 70’s with a BFA, studying under Wayne Thiebaud, Roy DeForest and Robert Arneson. She continued with graduate school and a career in Graphic Design. Jane Burton’s work can be found both nationally and internationally in corporate collections, galleries and private collections.

She has enjoyed tremendous national success as a sculptor, working in ceramic and creating stylized, quasi-tribal figures that express in monolithic scale, the mythology of woman. She’s won numerous awards for her sculpture including BEST OF ARTISTS AND ARTISANS – 2007; BEST OF AMERICA: SCULPTURE ARTISTS – 2007; and been featured in several national publications including, AMERICAN ART COLLECTOR 2006: MAKING MARKS: DISCOVERING THE CERAMIC SURFACE – 2004, and AMERICAN ART COLLECTOR – 2004.

But Burton’s career path originated with her early years as a painter, learning from Wayne Thiebaud, when he taught at UC Davis. “What I take from Wayne is that no matter the subject…his emphasis was on the language and physicality of the paint, the line, the brushstroke, the light and color.”

Of the three painters featured in the gallery’s recent exhibition, “XXX:THREE WOMEN IN ABSTRACT”, it’s Burton’s work that cleaves nearest to these Abstract Expressionist roots. “Richard Diebenkorn, who was a mentor of Thiebaud’s, is one of my all time favorites, his planes of muted complimentary colors, his sense of balance and line work intrigues me. Funk artists, Roy DeForest and Robert Arneson, were also professors of mine. I don’t have their quick sense of humor, but their use of color, texture, and pattern is influential in my work as well. There are many artists that I melt over – Willem DeKooning, Joan Mitchell, Helen Frankenthaler, Wassily Kandinsky. I have an affinity for that era, be it funk, pop, figurative, or abstract.”

“My current work focuses on changing points of view; divergent perceptions of life in the conscious and subconscious. If there are concrete truths regarding life, they evade us. We are left with perceptions. I find this evident while examining nature from different angles; it is never the same twice. On a subconscious level, we are steeped in dreams …filled with chaos, drama, and non-linear pattern. Yet in our wakeful state we strive to structure, label, and control it all.”

“Described as a “painter’s painter”, my large scale abstract work…celebrates chaos, the unexplained, and demonstrates our struggle for dominion over it.”- Jane Burton

Read Jane Burton’s Q&A session with Frederick Holmes

I’m fully immersed in the performance from the time I first dig my fingers into the clay until I pull the vessel from the fire’s ashes. – Jane Burton