Jean Foos CANNONBALL LAGOON (the book) 48-page full-color book,
Cannonball Lagoon (book)
2014, artwork by Jean Foos, designed by Dirk Rowntree, and published by Ragged Sky Press
48-page full-color book,
7" x 7"

This is a book created during my residency on Governors Island. It shows my room installation and some of the 4 x 6 inch gallery invitations that I painted over with patterns.

A preview of the book can be seen here:

Here is what Melanie Neilson and Bruce Andrews had to say about the publication:

"This is the story of a woman and a card and a paintbrush messing with dotted diamond dreams. Private thinking bent over collected cards. Success or has-been, Cannonball Lagoon is a spectator sport passed graphically through cmyk afternoons.

Cannonball Lagoon; open it and look. Think about eyeballing the postcard paintings of Jean Foos. The swampy decomposition of promotion in this 48-page full-color book shows a systematic pictorial practice of spry continuity. She softens up the promo core in a cuddly aggressive web of strained intensity. Foos is a hitchhiker. The card labor might have been yours—or that of the young couple across the lagoon. Public persona and eternal outsider alike, they longed, they came, and they went."

—Melanie Neilson

“Jean Foos sparkles with a great & pleasurable variety of texture/color/design in postcard-size paintings made on gallery artist images from publicity cards. Irregular & hand-done but evoking systematic grids, the lines sometimes seem to suavely imprison the images, other times offering a cobweb, mosaic, scaffolding, or staging area. This marks out an innovation for JF’s gridwork & gives today’s art viewers something distinctive. (Poets, for instance, can’t make any ‘source text’ so co-visible anywhere near this deftly, this ingeniously.)

In the past, grids have more often acted to make a self-sufficient surface at a ground zero. They’re famous for toning down the gush, the neediness or grabbiness of any content display, any image lure—immune to any rhetoric of depth, anything noisily wandering ‘off the grid’, penning in the romanticism of artists’ personal expression. And dehystericizing the object. O.K., but a grid, as familiar (severe modernist) formal pattern, can reduce friction (in a viewer’s experience) as it swallows up or disappears content.

But Foos shows us it doesn’t need to be just opaque graph-paper talking to itself while hypnotizing us. Cannonball Lagoon restores a dialog based on friction—palimpsestically. These paintings make play ‘off the grid’ from their backstages, upending purity. Autonomy starts messing around in the attic—& finds a wild wealth of particulars (sometimes surveilled, sometimes kept secret). We’re in a different aesthetic political economy here—a more rambunctious meeting hall, with time’s sturdy (& aloof) repetitions thrown into conversation with the trickiness of space & the noisiness of reference.

Instead of an overlay, it’s almost as if the backdrops are being crystallized onto JF’s surfaces—pushback mirrors rigged out in latticework, but also windows inviting us to scan an ungrounding back(stage). Space roars or seeps back in—from where a grid might exile it—to desystematize. These layers carry micro-indulgences of history—of destinations & plurality—unleashing energies both centrifugal & centripetal. On one surface, with interiorizing (dizzying) focus & exteriorizing (undressing) peek, Foos opens it all up from behind. We get beyond some hyperbolic flatness, tame copy, or systematic display—to a multi-layer chocolate box, ready for the viewer’s tasting party.”

—Bruce Andrews, September 2014