As with works like John Coltrane (1992), At the Races is representative of a shift in method and style that Wadsworth jarrell instigated in the 1980s, and which carries through to this day. The shift is epitomized by the use of specialized tools that Jarrell constructed out of cardboard, and by cutting grooves into plastic paint scrapers. These tools allowed him to imbue his surfaces with sumptuous, impasto patterns, bringing new textures and almost sculptural dimensions into the work. This period also marks a time when Jarrell was relying more on spray guns to create the gradiated backgrounds of his works, where luminous, vibrant oranges, yellows, purples and greens form a haunting, ethereal support for the symbolic, abstract, and figurative elements of the composition, an effect that is particularly strong in At the Races. This image also reflects strongly on a lifelong interest Jarrell has had in the culture of horse racing.
Wadsworth Jarrell, Come Saturday Punch, 2019, Chicago IL, United States