Jon Imber

Carry On

Jon Imber

Jon Imber, Armillary (detail), 1997. Oil on canvas. Courtesy of the Artist and Alpha Gallery, Boston.

March 9–May 18, 2014

In Memoriam

Due to the many individuals wishing to pay respects to the late artist Jon Imber, memorial services will be held at the First Parish Unitarian Church, 3 Church Street, Cambridge, MA on Saturday, May 17 at 1:30pm. For directions, including MBTA access, please visit firstparishcambridge.org. There will be plenty of room for all wishing to attend.

Jon Imber: Carry On will continue at Danforth Art through May 18. On the last day of the exhibition, Sunday, May 18, painter and wife of the artist, Jill Hoy will join Danforth Art Director Katherine French in Danforth Art’s Auditorium at 3pm to speak on Jon Imber’s work. Please join us.
You can make donations to Danforth Art in memory of Jon Imber by contacting the Development Office, at 508-620-0050 ext. 10 or .

About the Exhibition

Since the beginning, artist Jon Imber has used painting to explore relationships between biological and artistic family. Central to the exhibition Jon Imber: Carry On are portraits of his father Harold Imber and his mentor Philip Guston, a larger-than-life Expressionist painter who taught Imber at Boston University. Created from memory and imagination, these commemorative portraits inspire consideration of the artist’s “carry paintings,” which depict fathers physically carrying sons and men carrying female lovers. Created over the space of thirty years, they reveal not only Imber’s acceptance, but also his embrace of the weighty responsibility we feel for those we love. Recent work explores responsibility of a different kind—Imber’s determination to keep on painting despite his diagnosis with ALS. Portraits of family and friends created within the last year reveal sharp visual intelligence that no longer relies on facility, making this some of his most interesting and expressive work to date.

About the Artist

Born on Long Island, NY in 1950, Jon Imber is a painter whose work has moved back and forth between representation and abstraction in his exploration of expressive and painterly gesture.  Imber received his BFA from Cornell University in 1972 and then his MFA from Boston University in 1977, where he worked closely with Philip Guston.  He has exhibited widely, with a mid-career retrospective at Boston University in 1999.  Selected awards include a Massachusetts Artists Fellowship in 1984 and National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships in 1984 and 1987. His work appears in the permanent collection of numerous institutions, including the Boston Public Library, Boston, MA; Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, ME; Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, NH; Danforth Art Museum, Framingham, MA; Davis Museum and Cultural Center, Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA; DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Lincoln, MA; Farnsworth Museum, Rockland, ME; Fitchberg Art Museum, Fitchburg, MA; Fogg Art Museum, Harvard College, Cambridge, MA; Museum of Fine Art, Boston; Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA.  Imber and his wife and artist Jill Hoy live in both Somerville, MA and Stonington, ME and are the subject of a soon-to-be-released film produced as part of the Maine Masters Series.        

Art and Healing

Danforth Art often explores the use of art as a mechanism for healing, for discovery, and for recovery, and this theme runs through our spring exhibitions. Learn more.

Related Exhibitions

For those of you who are interested in the work of Jon Imber, Maud Morgan Center Arts presents Painting Up a Storm, on view from February 20 to March 21. Alpha Gallery presents Visionary Botanist, on view from March 1 to April 2.

Related Press

The Will of Time: Experiencing the art of Jon Imber
By Torey Akers, artseditor.com, April 27, 2014

Jon Imber, 63; artist kept painting with exuberance in face of ALS
By Cate McQuaid, The Boston Globe, April 25, 2014

In portrait of late artist Jon Imber, life and love endure
By Sebastian Smee, The Boston Globe, April 23, 2014

Jon Imber Remembered as Attentive Teacher, Energetic Artist
By Ivan B.K. Levingston, Harvard Crimson, April 23, 2014

Maine Painter In New Documentary Dies After Struggle With ALS
By Andrea Shea, The Artery, April 19, 2014

Taking the pulse of ‘art as healing’ at Danforth Art
By Sebastian Smee, The Boston Globe, March 29, 2014

Danforth's 'Art and Healing' captures triumphs of creativity
By Chris Bergeron, The MetroWest Daily News, March 16, 2014

ALS doesn't hinder Jon Imber's desire to paint
By Cate McQuaid, The Boston Globe, March 11, 2014

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