This is the third exhibition that the Phyllis Kind Gallery has mounted of the work of Gillian Jagger. The first (1997), introduced the work entitled "Matrice" which itself was a breath extinguishing trauma-producing exquisite use of "road-kill" (an actual dead deer found by the artist at the side of the road). It makes a statement about man's non-concern about his fellow creatures at the same time that it actually addresses the reality of death.
The second installation was a piece entitled "Rift" (1998) which was a veritable pantheon of carrion of all sorts from horses to cats to deer to cows to zebra and other wild beasts (as retrieved from the Catskill killing farm.) This magnum opus also includes old cow stanchions, coiling barbed wire, rusted saws and other cutting tools and random lengths of weathered board. These elements are composed with brilliant regard to space, scale and dimension. What we see is a virtuosic rendering in three-dimensions, a genuine hyperactive moving sculptural form.
Some time went by after "Rift". Some other experiments using cadavers some even using canvas and then at 9:45, February 16, 2000, Gillian's horse, Faith, died. Faith was the herd leader at Gillian's farm. She was killed in a gruesome accident. Ms. Jagger cast her in the snow. "I cast her. My friend who came for a forgotten coat helped me. It was too cold for the plaster to cure properly. It stuck to her hair. We pulled off a crumbly mess."
Thus, the exquisite and personal effigies "Faith I" and "Faith II" were born. Fragmented by necessity, they became fragmented by design: a tribute to life's fragility as they are a tribute to endurance and the ultimate affirmation of Platonic love.
Review: New York Times Arts & Leisure Sunday, June 16, 2002