It Started With a Crocofish (Covid Sculptures)

These surreal sculptures, that I made during the Covid-19 shutdown, developed out of a recent series of drawings I began when I was visiting my family home on the Isle of Man (a small island between England and Ireland). To entertain Daisy, my six year old grand-niece, I would draw silly monsters and hybrid animals like a crocofish or banana-mouse for her. One day, while sitting quietly with my father-who was on chemotherapy at the time-he looked over and let out a loud belly laugh at what I was drawing. Seeing how they lifted his spirits I asked him for suggestions too. “A man with wheels for legs” he’d say, or “a woman with an elephant’s body”. I would then embellish them further, like a game of exquisite corpse, and watch as his face would light up. As the series multiplied my whole family began chipping in with more challenging suggestions. This project may seem like an anomaly in the context of my "usual" work however it is evident that the beginnings of these humorous intentions began in a previous Manx project entitled "Found In Translation" from 2010-2012.

It Started with a Crocofish (Drawings for Dad)

These drawings from 2018-2020 developed into the silly crocofish sculptures after no longer having access to my studio due to Covid and not having space to work on the large paintings I had been doing before the shutdown. Working small like this gave me time to slow down and contemplate how to exist in this new reality, while honoring my fathers memory, whose great sense of humor inspired them.

Found In Translation

Found in Translation 2010-2012 came about after reflecting on previous paintings and installations, which often used landscape based references. From those projects I became aware of how the abstracted land formations were less resemblances of actual places than imaginary vistas conjured from many sources. Analyzing them further it was intriguing to discover familiar elements and to try to locate their source (the toxic colors perhaps a reference to the artificiality of Las Vegas where I attended graduate school in the 90’s) or the suggestion of stony remnants of a Celtic ruin or cliffs and waterfalls reminiscent of features on the Isle of Man where I grew up. It was these ponderings that lead me to view the works as a kind of coded inventory of remembrances. In attempting to re-discover the origins of my identity in my work I began to fabricate another version of it, whereby the reverse trajectory of "Found in Translation" correlates with the process of remembering: the cognitive equivalent of a game of whispers. 


Barocopop was an exhibition at Royale Projects, DTLA in 2018 and my last solo show before the world turned upside down forever. Comprising a series of large gray brushstroke paintings and brightly hued pop influenced works, I had made custom paint brushes up to 10" wide in order to execute them on such a scale. They were physically demanding to make as they had to be done fast by moving my whole arm across the canvas as if dancing with a paint brush in my hand.

Tastes Like Pink (Smells Like Burning)

Tastes Like Pink was an installation project, that I did for Royale Projects in Palm Desert in 2010, that expanded a single painting into a series of related sculptures and objects dealing with issues of firestorms and natural disasters through a delirious palette of candy pinks, pistachio greens and creamy orange hues, enveloping the viewer in a visual toxic spill of hightened reality and anxiety.


These visually restless paintings entitled turbulence, executed between 2008 and 2012, incorporate liquified splashes and spills, resembling lava-like explosions and landslides with branch-like tendrils reaching upward suggesting a tangle of under growth. These reference the physical activity of painting methods I use as well as suggest emotional responses to an environment in distress and could be interpreted as expressing the pervasive anxiety of our turbulent cultural and political times.


Space-rocks was the title of a solo exhibition at Susanne Vielmetter Gallery, Los Angeles, CA in 2006. A series of large-scale acrylic paintings on canvas, with explosive splashes and spills of paint, created exuberant spaces that appear to be in various states of delirious destruction as though a cataclysmic event had taken place and ravaged the earth.


Velocity was a special project I did for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Santa Barbara, CA in 2007 that incorporated large paint "stickers" made by pouring acrylic onto sign-film and cutting it out. I then placed it below the painting and across the walls and the floor creating a visual mudslide with carved foam stepping-stones and a small shelf with a miniature figure reading a book oblivious to the environmental destruction all around him.

Sticker Installations

This series of large-scale mural projects were made by pouring acrylic paint onto adhesive backed sign-film which were then cut out and attached directly to the wall. They were exhibited in a variety of venues such as the California Biennial at the Orange County Museum of Art, Nina Menocal Gallery, Mexico City and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, CA.

Liquid Mind-Scapes

In this series from 2003-2006 I created paintings by pouring acrylic paint directly onto a canvas then manipulating it to created sprawling landscape vistas of floating mountains, landscape clouds and psychadelic volcanic erruptions. The process of moving the paint around (by pouring, tilting, twisting and dripping it etc. while wet) generates the final static image. The outcome cannot be totally controlled or preconceived. It becomes what it looks like through invisible means. The different thicknesses of paint, traveling at different speeds etc. create the final shape of the image.

Cosmic Lingerie

My “Cosmic Lingerie” paintings, 1998-2000 were highly textured emphasizing surface, physicality and humor in relation to a variety of ideas such as materiality, pleasure, taste and sexuality and an emerging dialogue between nature and culture. With titles like "Black Holes in my Stockings" and "Cosmic Drip" this series incorporated black acrylic paint and caulk poured (and squeezed through a cake decorating nozzle) onto the canvas referencing the physicality of paint but also alluding to the body as a site for pleasure and cosmic reflection.


Jane Callister was born on the Isle of Man, UK and is now a California-based artist who works across the mediums of painting, sculpture, drawing and installation. Callister has exhibited in many notable exhibits including The 1st Prague Biennale at the Veletrizni Palace Prague, Czech Republic in 2003; Extreme Abstraction at the Albright Knox Museum, Buffalo, New York in 2005; and was included in the 2006 California Biennial at the Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA. Recent solo exhibitions include Baroco-pop at Royale Projects, Los Angeles in 2018 and It Started With a Crocofish; New Drawings by Jane Callister at the CabadaGray gallery at the VITA arts Center, Ventura, CA, 2019. Callister’s work has also been featured in notable publications such as: Vitamin P: New Perspectives in Painting with essay by David Pagel and published by Phaidon Press, 2002 and LA Artland by Chris Krauss published by Blackdog Press, London, 2006. Her work is in numerous private collections as well as The New Museum, New York and The Albright Knox Museum, Buffalo, NY, and LACMA, Los Angeles, CA.

resume 2021

Solo Exhibitions:

2019 “It Started with a Crocofish”, CabadaGray Gallery, Ventura, CA

2018 “Baroco-pop”, Royale Projects: DTLA, (Down Town LA), Los Angeles, CA

2015 “Transending Cool: California abstraction”, Royale Projects, Palm Desert, CA

2010 “Tastes Like Pink…Smells Like Burning”, Royale Projects, Indian Wells, CA

2007 “Velocity”, solo installation @ Bloom Projects, Contemporary Arts Fourm, Santa Barbara, CA

2006 “Magic Landscapes”, Michael Berger Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA

“Jane Callister: Pop Rocks”, Susanne Vielmetter :Los Angeles Projects, CA

“Broken Morning”, solo project for the Califoria Biennial, Orange Museum of Art

2005 “Re-Imagining Landscape”, two person Installation at The Santa Barbara Museum of Art, CA

“Bonkers”, two person Installation at Nina Menocal Gallery, Mexico

2004 “New Work”, Jane Callister at Susanne Vielmetter :Los Angeles Projects, CA

“Sadie Hawkins Dance", two person Collaboration Southfirst, New York, NY,

2003 “Liquid landscape", Peter Miller Gallery, Chicago, IL

“The Expanded Sticker Project", Southfirst Art, Brooklyn, NY

“Jane Callister”, Mixture ContemporaryArt, Houston, TX “The Office Project”, Susanne Vielmetter:Los Angeles Projects, CA

2002 “Vitamin P : Jane Callister", University Art Museum, UC, Santa Barbara

“Cosmic Lingerie:" "Brooklyn àParis"- Gallerie Anton Weller, Paris, France 2001

“Jane Callister", Southfirst Art, Brooklyn, NY “Jane Callister" Frumkin/Duval, Santa Monica, CA

“Sensate" W. Keith and Janet Kellog University Art Gallery, CAL Poly Pomona, CA

2000 “Architexture", (aka The Virtual Drip Project)- Contemporary Arts Forum, Santa Barbara, CA. Curated by Anne Philbin (Dir. UCLA Hammer Museum)


Group Exhibitions:

2020 “Common Ground: Artists Reimagining Community” Online exhibition for the William Rolland Gallery at Cal Lutheran University, California.

“Pulp: Works on Paper, 2020”, Vita Art Cemter, Venturer, CA

2019 “PARTITA II”, Durden and Ray, Los Angeles,CA, Exhibition/auction “Nine + One”, CabadaGray Gallery,

“Transiting 2”, Joseph Gross Gallery, University of Arizona, AZ

“Blinky the friendly hen: 40th Anniversary Exhibition” curated by Jeffrey Vallance, CSUN Art Gallery, Northridge, CA

“Escapism from LA”, Soil Gallery, Seattle, WA. Curated by Durdan & Ray, LA

2018 “Untitled”, Jay Jay Gallery, Sacramento, CA

“Manifesto”, Benson Auditorium, Pitzer College, CA 2017 “Astronauts of innerspace”, Arts Fund, Santa Barbara CA

2016 The Art of looking”, AD&A Museum, University of California, Santa Barbara.

2016 Group show, Royale Projects, Los Angeles, CA

“Untitled: Jane Callister”, Back Room Weekly, Jay Jay Gallery, Sacramento, CA

“British Invasion”, Museum of Art and History, Lancaster, CA “REBOOT”, Jay Jay Gallery, Sacramento, CA

“Imaginary Selves”, Harris Gallery, University of La Verne, CA

2015 “HELLO my name is… LOS ANGELES”, Royale Projects DTLA, CA

2014 “Pictures of Everything”, Harris Gallery, University of Le Verne, CA

“Interrupting Entropy”, Santa Clara University Art Museum, CA

“Stationary Realms”, Museum of Art, University of Arkansas

“Project LALO”, Jaus Gallery, Los Angeles, CA “Incognito 2014”, Santa Monica Museum of Art, CA

2013 “Some Fine Women”, Vast Space, Las Vegas, NV “Incognito"Santa Monica Museum of Art, CA

“Women Under the influence”, Jay Jay Gallery, Sacramento, CA

“Mind Maps”, Laurence Rickles Collection, University Museum, Santa Barbara 2012

“Persistence”, Atkinson gallery, Santa Barbara, CA “Art Platform”, Barker Hanger, Los Angeles, CA

“Varsity”, Upper Bunk, Goleta, CA

“Risk and Reward”, University of Wisconsin, Lau Claire

“One Night Stand”, benefit auction for Art from Scrap, environmental education art center, Santa Barbara, CA

“Incognito 2012”, Santa Monica Museum of Art, CA 2011

“Double Trouble”, The Arts Fund Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA

“Incognito 2011”, Santa Monica Museum of Art, CA “Gold Mine”, University Art Museum, Long Beach, CA

“La Costra Nostra”, Rheeway Gallerie, Los Angeles, CA

2010 “Surface Tension”, South Bend Art Museum,, Sothbend, IN “Incognito 2010”, Santa Monica Museum of Art, CA

“Summer Group Show”, Susanne Veilmetter Los Angeles Projects

2009 “Topographies”, Albright Knox Museum of Art, Buffalo, NY “Le Petit Objet”, Royale Projects, Indian Wells CA

“Reduce your Viewing Distance” Peter Miller Gallery Chicago IL

“Las Vegas Diaspora” curated by Dave Hickey for the Laguna Art Museum, CA

“West Meets East”, Royale Projects, Indian Wells CA 2008

“Prescient”, Michael Berger Gallery Pittsburgh, PA

“Summer Group Show”, Peter Miller Gallery Chicago IL 2007

“Las Vegas Diaspora” curated by Dave Hickey for the Las Vegas Art Museum, NV

“Inhale/Exhale” Peter Miller Gallery Chicago IL

CA 2006 “California Biennial” Orange County Museum of Art, Orange County, CA

“SouthwestNET “ Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Arizona curated by Cassandra Coblintz

2005 “Extreme Abstraction” Albright Knox Museum, Buffalo , NY w/ catalogue

“Step into Liquid” curated by Dave Hickey, Ben Maltrz Gallery Otis College of Art Los Angeles CA, USA

“Wall Painting” University of Texas, San Antonio Gallery Curated by Frances Colpitt

"Just Visiting”, Huntington Beach Art Center, Huntington Beach, CA

"WivesHusbands", collaborations @ domestic setting, Los Angeles, CA, curated by Michael Gold

"Wunderkammer II: Paisajes”, Nina Menocal Gallery, Mexico City, Mexico.

"It’s Not About Sex!”, LUXE Gallery, New York, NY, with Cecily Brown, Lee Gordon, Robert Mapplethorpe

"Adaptation Syndrome: Painting in Contemporary Image Culture", The Hand Workshop Art Center and Reynolds Gallery, curated by Dinah and Paul Ryan

2004 “Possible worlds” School of Fine Arts Gallery (SOFA), Indiana University, Bloomington, IN. Curated by Dana Sperry

2003 "The 2003 Prague Biennale", Veletrzni Palace Museum of Contemporary Art, Prague, curated by Lauri Firstenberg

"The New York Armory Show 2003", Susanne Veilemetter: Los Angeles

"Abstract-ed", LIMN Gallery, San Francisco, CA. Curated by Christine Duval

“Vitamin P”, University Art Museum, Santa Barbara, CA 2002

"Painting as Paradox", Artsists Space, NY, Curated by Lauri Firstenberg

"21: Paintings from LA" The Robert V. Fullerton Art Museum, California State University, San Bernadino, CA. Curated by James Gobel

"Wheeling:Krad-Kult- Tour", Jette Rudolf Gallerie, Berlin, Germany. Curated by Marcus Sendlinger (travelling to Natalie De light gallery, Frankfurt, Germany 2002, POST, Los Angeles, USA; London and Vienna in 2003)

"Live like there's Yes tommorrow" Sala Diaz, San Antonio, TX "Las Vegans" James Kelley Contemporary, Santa Fe , NM, Curated by Dave Hickey

2001 “Kungliga Palaset”, Konsthogskolan, Umea Universitet, Sweden “Fresh”,

Altoids Curiously Strong and Original Collection, New Museum, NY (Travelling show)

Cal’s Art, Sampling California Painting, University of North Texas, Art Gallery,

The Dreams, Stuff is made of, Frankfurt ArtFair, Germany. Curated by David Pagel Pornoglossdope, Southfirst Art, Brooklyn, New York

2000 “Emerging US Artists”, Frankfurt Art Fair, Germany



2018 Baroco-Pop, self-published book project of Barocopop @Royale Projects, Los Angeles, CA 2018 Art And Cake, Shana Nys Dambrot, Review of Baroco Pop at Royale projects, Los Angeles.

2016 Museum of Art and History (MOAH), Lancaster, CA. British Invasion exhibition catalogue.

2016 Jennifer Vanderpool curator “Imaginary Selves”. Catalogue essay, University of La Verne, CA.

2016 University of Memphis Press, “The Pinch”. Journal. Fall 2016, Volume 36, Issue 2

Ciara Ennis, “Pictures of Everything”. Catalogue essay, University of La Verne, CA

2014 Museum of Fine Art, University of Arkansas, “Stationary Realms”, exhibition catalogue.

2014 Museum of Art, University of Santa Clara, CA, “Interrupting Entropy”, exhibition catalogue.

2013 Anthony Zee, Einstein Gravity in a Nutshell, Cover Art, Published by Princeton University. 2013 Nancy Reyner, “Acrylic Illumination”, North Light Books, Blue Ash, OH

2012 Joseph Woodard, Abstract Energies, Local Colors, Scene arts, News Press, Santa Barbara CA, Review of “Persistence”at Atkinson Gallery

2012 Marianne Morild, Garageland, Art, Culture and Ideas Magazine, “Paintscapes” Published by Transition Editions, London, UK

2011 Charles Donelan, Double Trouble Review at the Arts Fund, Independent, Santa Barbara, CA

2011 Joseph Woodard, Art Under Shared Roofs, Review of Double Trouble Scene Arts, News Press Santa Barbara, CA 2008

Phil Oppenheim, ARTPAPERS, review of the Las Vegas Diaspora exhibit review January/February 2008

Robert L Pincus, Art Lld: Westcoast Art + Design Magazine, CA Review of Las Vegas Diaspora curated by Dave Hickey 2008 Kirsten Swenson,

ART IN AMERICA, "Sin City Slickers" review of Las Vegas Diaspora, Februaury 2008

2008 Richard Chang, OC Register, Review of the Las Vegas Diaspora at the Laguna Art Museum , March 4 2008

2007 Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times, Calendar"Five Artists Who Help Make the Scene in LA" Dec. 2, 2007 ( w/large full color image on the front page.

2007 Steve Friess, Vegas Magazine, "Rebels With a Cause", Feature article about the Las Vegas Diaspora Exhibition. Dec. 2007

2007 Shana Nys Dambrot Faster ab… ex kill kill kill!”catalogue essay for Velocity installation @ SBCAF Santa Barbara ,CA 2006

2006 California Biennial Exhibition Catalog, Orange County, CA Christopher Knight, Los Angeles. Review of 2006 California Biennial, Orange County

David Pagel, Review of “space rocks” at Susanne Vielmetter, Los Angels projects July

2006 Eve Wood “The Wondrously Strange and Sumptuous Sacrilusciousness of Jane Callister and Jennifer Vanderpool”, essay for Sacriluscious exhibition at Green leaf gallery Whittier College, CA

Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times. Review of “Step into Liquid” at the Ben Maltz Galery Otis, Santa Monica CA. January 2006

2005 Chris Krauss, LA Artland, Blackdog press, London, UK November

Vicky Perry, “Abstract Painting: Techniques & Concepts”Watson & Guptil , NY ,August 2

Frances Colpitt, Wall Painting exhib cat. 32 pp. full color (w/DVD of video /interviews) UTSA Press, TX Sept.

2005 Jennifer Jankauskas, Glasstyre, revie w of “Wall Painting” review Exhibition at UTSA cureted by Frances Colpitt ,September 2005

2003 Lauri Firstenberg, Flash Art, Feature: "Interview with Lauri Firstenberg"vol. 227, pp 89-92, Dec/Jan '03 2002 David Perez, Flash Art , Feature: "Focus Painting Part 1",vol. 226, pp 78-85, October

2002 David Pagel, Phaidon Press, "VitaminP", essay Re: Jane Callister /Contemprary Painting, ed. Valerie Breuvart Fall

2002 Sarah King, Art in America, " Report from Santa Fe" feature article /review "Las Vegans" at James Kelly Contemporary, Santa Fe , (Dec 2001). p51, July ‘02

2001 The Chronicle, Review: "Cal's Art: Sampling California Painting"- University of North Texas, Art Gallery, DentonTX