Jim Isermann is a practicing artist, based in Palm Springs, California. Since receiving his MFA from the California Institute of Arts in 1980 Isermann’s artistic output has chronicled the conflation of post-war industrial design and fine art through popular culture. Functional installations that reclaimed a utopian view of the future while revealing the pathos of that failed promise have maintained an unflagging belief in the beauty of utilitarian design. Through out the 1990’s Isermann explored traditional handicraft technique to produce works (i.e.: stained glass, weaving, etc) that are unashamedly beautiful, a beauty that is integral to the limitations and specific characteristics of fabrication. In 1998, following a 15-year survey exhibition organized by David Pagel for UW Milwaukee’s institute of visual art, Isermann began to use a computer to design manufactured elements. Realized installations and commissions have employed mass-produced thermal die-cut vinyl decals, plotter-cut mylar decals, ContraVision© ink jet printed vinyl and projects incorporating multiple vacuum-formed ABS plastic panels. In 2003, a 35-foot 5-pendent chandelier, custom carpeting and furniture selection were permanently installed in the atrium of Genentech Hall at the UCSF Mission Bay Campus.
Currently Isermann divides his practice between producing labor-intensive studio work for gallery and museum exhibitions and designing and overseeing commissioned projects that involve industrial manufacturing processes. Most recently Isermann has mounted solo exhibitions at Deitch Projects, New York in 2007, Corvi-Mora, London in 2008 and Richard Telles Fine Art, Los Angeles in 2009. Commissioned projects were completed in 2006 for the UCLA Hammer Museum, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, in 2007 for Yale University Art Museum, in 2008 for Princeton University and in 2009 for Stanford University and UCR.