Since his first showing at the Henry Gallery at the University of Washington 50 years ago, Rankin has experienced recognition worldwide for his contemporary work. Permanent collections include the Viterbo College in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, Yellowstone Art Center in Billings, Montana, the University of Montana in Missoula, Montana, the Pritchard Gallery in Moscow, Idaho, and the Missoula Museum in Missoula, Montana. Rankin's work was featured in a touring exhibition across the Szechuan Province in China in the 1980s, and was the recipient of a Magda Traveling Arts Grant in 1995.
Other exhibitions include the Chase Gallery in Spokane, Washington, the Holter Museum in Helena, Montana, and was featured in the New Directions in the West exhibition at the Yellowstone Art Center (Billings, MT), Eastern Montana College (Billings, MT), Western Montana College (Dillon, MT), and Paris Gibson Square (Great Falls, MT).
Jerry Rankin's teaching career began in 1964 in Alaska, and has spanned levels at both the high school and university levels. Since 1985, he has devoted his life to painting full-time.
Going to the Sun
Raised in a tent in Montana's Glacier Park while his father engineered on the "Going to the Sun" highway, Rankin has pursued his own quest of "Going to the Sun" his entire life. He is involved with the kind of organizational intelligence which circumvents the difficulties and pitfalls of philosophy or religion.
Highly conceptual, Rankin's work is metaphorically rhythmic. He repeats themes and images like familiar refrains and choruses, requiring the viewer to attempt to probe the mind and interpret the message of the artist. The images are universals, those constraints of life which we all share. And each piece within the work represents an opportunity for you, as viewer, to relive your own experience, revisit your own past, re-examine your own values. It presents you with the dare, to confront yourself, your past, your present, your future.
Highway U.S. 93 explores a life journey through metaphor of "driver" (father) and "passenger" (mother) separated by the broken center line. His mental mapping floats above, hers below. The illusion of night opening up one's perception. Spirits moving through in tandem.
"Working Drawings" are derived from "The Palace Hotel" which represents, metaphorically, desire or fantasy, wishes or promises, winning or losing. The hotel is a place where dreams are made - a place we all occupy in our own subconscious.
Shown for the first time in this retrospective are the "Bi Series," Rankin's latest offerings, representing the polarity in that search for truth best achieved through balance and pairing. Leaden with the burden of responsibility, the lights of relationships barely peer through the greyed and somber surroundings, but they are beacons calling, bells pealing.
The series "Sound & Response" open a window beyond. The forms of marks into the seismic evidence of a sustained state - paired prints which dissolve into memory. The central vertical space nudges the viewer's experience, encouraging a dialogue from left to right. This connected central space draws the viewer's reaction to something between the structural marks and himself.
"Timelines" play with the notion of indivisible time - the illusion of time passing by; the proportion and duration of one's own subjective experience.
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