Eugene was born in Germany in 1947. Shortly afterwards, his family moved to South Africa, where as a young man, he studied at the Michalis School of Art at the University of Capetown. He continued his education throughout the 1980’s while living in London, New York, and Los Angeles. He last lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Establishing a strong following in the California and New Mexico art scenes, Jardin’s work explored numerous themes, including the man-beast interface. Working primarily in fiberglass and resin, his works were often brightly painted, aggressive and mystical. Jardin has been collected by museums, major corporations, and numerous private collections including David Hockney, Jane Seymour, Johnny Carson, Pia Zadora, Jodie Foster, Wolfgang Puck, and director, John Schlesinger. Eugene Jardin died of AIDS in the American Hospital in Paris in 1992 at the age of 44.
Also on display is a series of painted fiberglass sculptures by Eugene Jardin, a South African artist now living in Los Angeles. Jardin’s grotesque fusion of human and animal forms exploits art historical motifs drawn from Assyrian and Greek mythology (hunters and their prey), as well as Etruscan funerary sculpture. The works’ overt primitivism masks an analytical undercurrent, that of expressing emotional states through an ongoing sculptural vocabulary (kinetic distortion, idiosyncratic balance and spatial parameters) as well as such archetypal concerns as power and the subconscious. The work is more successful conceptually than aesthetically, largely because Jardin cloaks his historical sources in an overly accessible Pop sensibility that tends to undermine the integrity of his vision. (Michael Kohn, 313 N. Robertson Blvd., to Feb. 8.)
Photographs of Eugene Jardin by Robert Kirsner
“These Pictures were taken at my house in LA in 1989. He was staying with me preparing of and exhibition at the Couturier Gallery in Los Angeles.” Robert Kirsner, 2021