Mixed media collage, 'Untitled ' Page from Wallpaper Book, 1962 size: 11.5" by 14.5"
Jerry Jofen’s collages and paintings evoke the complexity and subtlety of life. Arranged layer upon layer they capture our physical and internal wanderings. The multi-dimensional superimpositions also serve to dissolve time and space thereby spiritualizing physical reality.
Writer and curator Klaus Kertess said of Jerry’s collages, "(They) are diaries of homelessness and displacements. He gathered leftovers from Manhattan's streets, held them together by staples. This putting together of the found and discarded parallel the serendipity of immigrant life. His collages are diaries of displacement.”
New American Cinema Exposition 1965, press conference at the Overseas Club.
(L to R) Gregory Markopoulos, P. Adams Sitney, Andy Warhol, Ron Rice, Jonas Mekas.
Jonas Mekas, writing in “The Village Voice,” echoed this idea when he said of Jerry’s film Voyage, “The film is marked by an almost mystic drive towards pure motion, color, light experience. (It was) 40 minutes of most beautiful, spiritual, almost heavenly cinema experience.”
The Center intends to create an exhibition that captures both these underlying themes of Jofen’s work: That of homelessness, wanderings and emerging from exile. And of making the mundane magical, spiritualizing the physical.
To these ends, the show will display collages ranging from the 1960’s to the 1970’s.
Sunday night, May 8th marks Jerry's 23rd yahrtzeit (passing).
Jofen was an artist and filmmaker and an illusive presence in New York's art world in the late 1950's, 60's and early 70's. He was involved with many of the artists whose work is now resurfacing, such as Bob Thompson and Ray Johnson who were close friends, and Jack Smith, who appears in his films.
Photo from 1962, from left to right; Taylor Mead, Jerry Jofen, Ron Rice - from library of Amy Rice.
Although Jerry was well known among the denizens of the scene he was not known by the public and his collages were rarely seen. However his films were screened in New York at the museum of modern Art and the jewish museum of American Art. The collages were shown at the Allan Stone Gallery in NYC, the Pavel Zoubok Gallery and the International Center of Collage. Jerry actively created collages and films until 1975, when he became ill and suffered paralysis and severe disability until his death in 1993.