At the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Jamey Grimes’ work “Roil” struck awe into my heart. The exhibit consists of around sixty sheets of plastic, each eight feet long and two feet wide, cut and melted to resemble the white foam lingering on the waves of the ocean. Suspended in mid-air by transparent fishing lines, “Roil” covers a large portion of the museum’s main hall.
I had to learn more about this sculpture, so I contacted Jamey Grimes, to ask when he knew his piece was “done.” He responded:
I do like to respond to the space, so I won’t always follow the plan precisely. While reacting to the installation, it is easy to get swept up in minute changes or reactions. At the end of the process, I ultimately rely on a gut level feeling that tells me I am done. There are often tiny details that I could continue to adjust forever, but I do try to fix any particular areas that catch my attention. It can be frustrating to go back to an area that was already complete an cut pieces back down, but it is generally worth the extra effort. The process does allow for some raw, expressive gestures. These exist on a line between accident and intention, and I have to adjust those choices based on prior experience and new observations.
To learn more about the specifics of its installation, I also went to the museum’s Curator of Art Jennifer Jankauskas. From her brief response, it appeared that the installation placement was a choice made by both her and Grimes. Grimes told me that he enjoyed the placement of the exhibit, as the nearby stairwell provides varying perspectives, and the lighting is satisfactory.
According to Jankauskas, various promotions have included advertising on TV stations, social media, the MMFA and Jamey Grimes’ websites, and a showcase of Grimes’ work at the Uncommon Territory Exhibition Gallery, which took place earlier this year.
“Roil” will be available for viewing at the MMFA until January 27, 2019.