Ian Jehle began his professional career in computer science and then construction engineering before turning to art. Born in Toronto, Jehle studied computer science and philosophy at American University in Washington DC, and then studying art at Kansas City Art Institute, Brandeis University and Columbia University, where he received his MFA in 2000. Currently, Jehle splits his time between Berlin and Washington, DC where he is currently a faculty member in the Art Department at American University.Jehle has exhibited widely, with gallery and museum shows in Japan, Germany and the U.S. His most recent exhibition, Dynamical Systems, at the Katzen Museum in Washington, where it is scheduled to open in November 2018.
Ian Jehle's artistic practice involves the creation large scale, site specific, algorithm based, drawing installations. That the form of these installations is related to the artist’s study of ongoing advanced topics in physics (specifically astro and particle physics) and mathematics (specifically algebraic geometry, number and set theory). That the specific works seek to visualize artist’s understanding of those theories not as an academic, but as a lay-person trying to understand the difficult yet also transfixing world of mathematics.
The artist’s background as an construction engineer is utilized to help manifest those ideas using common building materials (gaffers tape, bungee cords, construction crayons, chalk snap lines) and employing the visual language of CAD, math diagrams, and 3D visualizations used in many lay-learning platforms across the internet, such as YouTube. By referencing these contemporary learning platforms, the works not only visualize demonstrate mathematical principles, they also hint at the sense of awe and wonder and joy that often accompany the layperson’s attempt to understand those principles, especially those laypersons who do so, not in an academic setting, but as part of their own private passion.
In terms of their art historical antecedents, these works can be viewed as following in the footsteps of 20th century artists who used geometry such as Mondrian, Frank Stella, Carl Andre, At the same time, the large scale, algorithmic, highly spatial and installation aspects of the work have aspects of Sol Lewitt’s instruction based wall drawings Daniel Buren’s site-specific works.