New York, New York – WESTWOOD GALLERY NYC is pleased to present a solo exhibition of paintings by downtown NYC artist James Juthstrom (1925-2007). The paintings on exhibit explore the artist’s inner dialogue in viewing the interior and exterior of his loft on Broome Street, where he lived for over forty years. The work includes cryptic visuals of Juthstrom’s living space with floorboards, skylights, shadowy figures and geometric angles. From the inner to the outer, a series of abstract work focuses on SoHo’s urban view of smokestacks, windows, rooftops, angled bars and ladders. A highlight in the exhibition is a four panel 17 foot x 5 foot painting, which maps a convergence of fire escape ladders with colorful bars and an obscure red canister and container on a ledge, leads to a mysterious message of order in disorder.
In the early 1950’s, James Juthstrom studied at the Brooklyn Museum Art School under Bill Kienbusch (Modernist painter, 1914-1980) and Reuben Tam (American Landscape painter, 1916-1991). Juthstrom’s artwork was noted by his peers and he participated in five group exhibitions at Brooklyn Museum (1955-56), Paul Schuster Art Gallery (1956), Whitney Museum of American Art (1956), and Detroit Institute of Arts (1957). Concurrently, Juthstrom landed his first solo exhibition at Gallery G at 200 East 59th Street in 1957. Following his initial success in the 1950s, he found himself depleted, no longer able to paint. Instead, he traveled the country in 1961-62, taking in the radiance of the Hawaiian Islands, mountains of Southern California and highlands of the Southeast. When he returned to New York in 1965, Juthstrom leased the top floor of an abandoned, burned out brownstone building on Broome Street and West Broadway “as is.”
After moving into his new studio, Juthstrom moved away from his early representational landscapes to capturing the breadth of the city. Throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s, his paintings began to reflect an abstracted skyline of SoHo, reducing the buildings outside of his loft to fields of color. Working in oil on board, Juthstrom formed rich cityscapes, drawing inspiration from the same movement as Richard Diebenkorn for his abstract Ocean Park paintings. During these years, he also became fascinated with astronomy, celestial bodies and earth plate tectonics.