Xylor Jane

Xylor Jane (b. 1963, Long Beach, CA) makes rainbow-hued, systems-based paintings that are homages to the intangible and mystical pleasures of numbers.

In highly detailed and minute applications of pigment, Jane visualizes numerals that are uniquely symmetrical or rare such as primes (numbers only divisible by themselves and 1, i.e. 3 and 11), magic squares (a grid of integers in which each row adds to the same sum), and golden ratios (also known as the divine proportion, found in spiraling vegetation patterns among other things).

Knowing that her soft spot for integers is not shared by all, Jane seeks to present them in novel formats, allowing viewers to have new experiences with numbers. In each piece, Jane exalts numerals that she finds exceptionally beautiful. Jane takes a variety of approaches to depicting her numerical subject matter. Some paintings are blocky renditions of special or favorite numbers such as the prime palindrome 32323. Others might use a mathematical system to create a more abstract composition, for example a counting spiral wherein dots are applied in a circling pattern. Still others might bring both approaches together on the same canvas.

Whatever her subject, Jane starts by applying a color ground to panel and then laying down a grid. From there, she fills in colors, lines, and shapes according to the decided upon content. Her application of paint is precise but not perfect in execution; she prefers the works to be handmade. Even though integers are usually thought of as impersonal and objective, Jane’s titles reframe them as highly personal. Using numerology, a system for transforming names and dates into numbers with mystical meanings, Jane has made paintings that translate many of her cats’ names into numerics. Other pieces have memorialized loved ones or explored the near-death experience. Additionally, Jane has made numerous works that depict the number 1221, a palindrome that is also her date of birth. Her mathematical compositions are ways of visualizing or thinking through the passage of time—days lived or distances traversed. In all of her works, Jane invites us to admire and meditate on the engrossing power and beauty of numbers.

Artist: Studio

"Symmetry means much to me—circles, life forms, cell division, mirroring. It is a compositional tool I employ and do not tire of. Symmetry resounds my primordian desire."

Artworks

Xylor Jane,

Untitled,

2024,

Oil, ink, and graphite on panel,

33 × 33 in (83.82 × 83.82 cm)

Xylor Jane,

Untitled,

2024,

Oil, graphite, and pigment pen on panel,

22 × 22 in (55.88 × 55.88 cm)

Xylor Jane,

Replay,

2023,

Oil, ink, and graphite on panel,

33 × 33 in (83.82 × 83.82 cm)

 

Xylor Jane,

Lion's Den,

2022,

Oil and graphite on wood panel,

19 ¾ × 19 ¾ in (50.17 × 50.17 cm)

 

Xylor Jane,

Dancing Bears,

2022,

Oil and ink on wood panel,

31 × 29 in (78.74 × 73.66 cm)

 

Xylor Jane,

Tiger Twins,

2022,

Oil and graphite on wood panel,

31 × 23 in (78.74 × 58.42 cm)

 

Xylor Jane,

For Mary and Bubbles,

2021,

19 ½ × 23 ½ in (49.53 × 59.69 cm)

Ink and oil on panel

Xylor Jane,

Snowglobe,

2020,

24 × 20 in (60.96 × 50.8 cm)

Ink and oil on panel

Xylor Jane,

Rebirther,

2019,

18 × 19 in (45.72 × 48.26 cm)

Oil and ink on panel

Xylor Jane,

The Goodnight Kiss,

2018,

31 × 29 in (78.74 × 73.66 cm)

Oil and ink on panel

Xylor Jane,

10th Order Magic Square for Planet Earth,

2019,

19 ¾ × 19 ¾ in (50.165 × 50.165 cm)

Ink and oil on panel

Xylor Jane,

40 Love,

2019,

19 ¾ × 19 ¾ in (50.165 × 50.165 cm)

Oil on panel

Xylor Jane,

Days Alive,

2019,

18 × 24 in (45.72 × 60.96 cm)

Oil and graphite on panel

Xylor Jane,

LoveLetter,

2019,

20 × 16 in (50.8 × 40.64 cm)

Oil on panel

Xylor Jane,

Number Eleven,

2019,

18 × 24 in (45.72 × 60.96 cm)

Oil and ink on panel

Xylor Jane,

Untitled Sampler for Maine Coon Cats,

2019,

20 × 20 in (50.8 × 50.8 cm)

Graphite and oil on panel

Xylor Jane,

3 Lakes & 2 Heavens,

2018,

47 × 53 in (119.38 × 134.62 cm)

Oil and ink on panel

Xylor Jane,

Clown Bar,

2018,

29 ¾ × 24 in (75.565 × 60.96 cm)

Oil and ink on panel

Installation Views

Installation view, BAMPFA Art Wall: Xylor Jane, University of California, Berkeley, CA, 2024

Exhibitions

Xylor Jane, Second Saturn Return, Nov 4 – Dec 22, 2022
Xylor Jane, 3Lakes, Sep 6 – Oct 19, 2019
Xylor Jane, trice, May 9 – Jun 7, 2015
Xylor Jane, 3:07, May 6 – Jun 3, 2012
Xylor Jane, NDE, Feb 26 – Mar 26, 2009
Xylor Jane, Dying Everyday, Oct 11 – Nov 6, 2006

Publications

Xylor Jane
Notebooks, 2019

Xylor Jane
19991, 2014

Xylor Jane
Xylor Jane, 2010

Press

Grace Davis, “Pratt Manhattan Gallery Presents ‘The Apex Is Nothing’”, Hyperallergic April 4 2024

John Yau "Xylor Jane’s Cosmic Grids." Hyperallergic December 19, 2022

Jillian Steinhauer "What to See in N.Y.C. Galleries Right Now." The New York Times July 13, 2022

Cassie Packard "Your Concise Art Guide for February 2022." Hyperallergic February 1, 2022

Matt Stromberg "Xylor Jane at Parrasch Heijnen." Carla May 15, 2021 66-68

Ashton Cooper "Xylor Jane: Parrasch Heijnen Gallery." Artforum May 1, 2021

Nicole Eisenman "Best of 2019." Artforum December 1, 2019

Kate Geis "VIDEO: Xylor Jane in the Studio." UMass Amherst Museum of Contemporary Art April 2019

Johanna Fateman "ART Xylor Jane / Sahar Khoury." The New Yorker September 30, 2019

Will Heinrich "TriBeCa, the New Art Stroll." The New York Times September 19, 2019

Jerry Saltz "The Return of the Tribeca Art Scene." Vulture September 19, 2019

Emily Spivack "When a Discarded Cat’s Whisker Becomes a Prized Possession." The New York Times Style Magazine September 4, 2019

Paul Laster "Tribeca Emerges as New Hub for Galleries." Galerie August 29, 2019

Kate Geis "Short Film: Xylor Jane." UMass Amherst Museum of Contemporary Art April 2019

John W. Arvanitis "Xylor Jane: Counterclockwise." Art New England April 1, 2019

Zachary Fine "Xylor Jane." Artforum April 1, 2019

"Xylor Jane's "Magic Square for Earthlings”." Juxtapoz February 21, 2018

David Pagel "From the tiniest of pinpoints of color, Xylor Jane creates pulsating patterns of life." Los Angeles Times February 5, 2018

Andy Campbell "Xylor Jane." Artforum February 2, 2018

Annabel Osberg "Xylor Jane." Artillery January 31, 2018

Andrew Nunes "CANADA is Making Painting Great Again." The Creators Project: Vice Magazine June 22, 2016

Samara Davis "Performing the Grid." Artforum January 28, 2016

Eileen Myles "Eleven Favorites." The Paris Review September 1, 2015

Howard Halle "The Best Contemporary paintings now on view in NYC art galleries." Time Out New York May 19, 2015

Anne Prentnieks "Xylor Jane." Artforum May 1, 2015

Zoe Lescaze "The Painter of Modern Life." Artforum March 1, 2015

Sarah Schmerler "Xylor Jane." Art in America October 12, 2012

John Yau "The Mysteries of One, Two, Three." Hyperallergic June 3, 2012

Lauren O'Neil-Butler "Xylor Jane, N.D.E." Artforum May 2009

John Yau "Xylor Jane N.D.E.." The Brooklyn Rail April 2009

Jerry Saltz "Dot Matrix." New York Magazine March 23, 2009

Roberta Smith "Art in Review: Xylor Jane, N.D.E." The New York Times March 20, 2009

Carlo Mccormick and Tauba Auerbach "Tauba Auerb Ach On Science." Paper October 2008

Ken Johnson "Constraction." The New York Times July 18, 2008

Lauren O'Neill-Butler "Constraction." Artforum July 1, 2008

Jerry Saltz "Into the Fray." The Village Voice February 7, 2007

Matt Keegan "Erratic Systems and Irregular Cycles." Modern Painters February, 2007

Roberta Smith "Xylor Jane: Dying Everyday." The New York Times November 3, 2006

Abraham Orden "Aperto San Francisco." Flash Art July-September 2005

Kenneth Baker "Cross section of Bay Area artists' work highlights the chasm between creators and crowd." San Francisco Chronicle July 30, 2005

Karen Macklin "All Together Now." San Francisco Weekly July 13, 2005

Sabina Ott "Broad Shoulders." Stretcher July 1, 2005

Noah Chasin "Xylor Jane, Robin Peck, Luke Murphy." Time Out New York January 6-12, 2005

Kevin Killian "Xylor Jane." San Francisco Bay Guardian November 3-4, 2004

Jerry Saltz "Babylon Rising." Village Voice September 10, 2003

David Bonetti "Artists who transcend pop." San Francisco Gate June 12, 2000

CV

b. 1963, Long Beach, CA

Lives and works in Greenfield, MA

  • Education

    • 1993

      BFA, San Francisco Art Institute, San Fransisco, CA

  • Selected Solo Exhibitions

    • 2024

      New Paintings, Konrad Fischer Galerie, Berlin, Germany

    • 2023

      Art Wall: Xylor Jane, UC Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, CA

    • 2022

      Second Saturn Return, CANADA, New York, NY

    • 2021

      Love Streams, Campoli Presti, Paris, France

      Back Rub / Foot Rub, Parrasch Heijnen, Los Angeles, CA

    • 2019

      3Lakes, CANADA, New York, NY

      Counterclockwise, University Museum of Contemporary Art, Amherst, MA

    • 2018

      Magic Square for Earthlings, Parrasch Heijnen Gallery, Los Angeles, CA