Artist Feature: J Louis

Image courtesy of J Louis’ website

American artist J Louis was born in 1992 and earned his BFA from Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia. He currently lives and works in New York City.

Louis is best known for his oil paintings of female figures, focusing on the exquisite strength and alluring complexity of women throughout saturated color, flattened space, and texture. His technical painting skills, his eye for capturing an expression that portrays an intimate story, and his material experimentation are combined together to create a dynamic harmony between emotion and design.

“Pink Repose” 16×20, oil on cradled linen panel

“My greatest hope for my work is to reveal a deeper passion and appreciation for life and to connect viewers with the kinetic energy of my art.”

J Louis

Louis is fascinated with moments of human connection and that fascination exhibits itself in his work through cleverly posed subjects, use of texture, and color amid abstracted space.

The figures in his paintings are always in contemplative and often curiously surreal poses. They conceal and reveal the environment, dissecting it through perspective, gesture, and form. They act as guides through the painted space; their elongated anatomy highlights divides or unites the composition.

“Niagara” 20×16, oil on cradled on linen panel

Louis pushes the boundaries of contemporary figurative art. Drawing from a vibrant palette, he combines figurative and abstract components with a use of pose and brushstrokes that reveal the influence of Vienna Secession painters. A student of classical fine arts and industrial design, J Louis experiments with the representation of emotion through texture and color. His explorations in material and texture lead him to find unexpected opportunities in his work, and by delving into color he creates moments of connection between viewers and the representational story he paints within an abstracted world.

There is something distinctly dreamlike about his work, heavy with atmosphere and exaggerated gesture. The painted environments are ambiguous, flattened, serving only to frame the forms of his subjects.

Louis layers his work with thick, impastoed texture, distinguishing areas of soft flesh, coarse drapery, and synthetic surface with masterful draughtsmanship. Outstretched limbs, hair, and cloth trail beyond the image while the figures themselves look away from the viewer, their gaze focused entirely on an unknown entity that exists just out of reach. 

Image courtesy of J Louis’ Facebook Page

We currently have two paintings by J Louis on display as a part of our Annual Small Works Group Exhibition. If you’re unable to come see the work in person click here to view the digital catalogue (if you’re on a mobile device click here for the best viewing experience). Pricing information can be found in the digital catalogue and email info@principlegallery.com with any questions.

208 King St. Alexandria, VA 22314 – 703.739.9326

Happy New Year from your friends at Principle Gallery!