If fantasy is an invention then what is its relation to abstraction if it too is invention. I think the dividing line relies on what is tangible beyond conception. It seems like one is tangible and the other a manufacture of a pseudo-reality: abstraction attains reality existing as a work of art, fantasy only achieves a representation of an impossible existence. Somewhere between are the paintings of Jackie Tileston.
Glimpses of Tileston’s catalog extending from now back to the 90s support the notion of how close to complete abstraction she is getting. Consistent throughout her works is the sense of nothing other than the painting. Some appear entirely devoid of any semblance, only cosmic vapors leeching through inarticulate formations of squirming lines, bulbous eruptions an incoherent patchworks of color. Perhaps some space age photography of quasars on the other side of the universe could give a likeness to some of Tileston’s work, but that is too theoretical in juxtaposition to the actual paintings. To ground the viewer back in the recognizable, back to an ideal, Tileston also implores a design aspect to some paintings. In these, gestalt differentiation intrudes upon the formless densities with charismatic ribbons or concentric circles of colors appearing so metered and in order that a mechanistic function seems a more likely source than a chaosmos. At times some of the works seem to antagonize the line between superfluous abstraction and stratified idealism. This tension is largely adverted though, ideals discombobulating from their centrifugal gravitation and formless splotches assimilating into coherent shapes – neither holds out against the other ultimately.
-Howard Brad Halverson