It will be more like scratching than writing

Paintings by Caroline Kent, Sofia Leiby,
Suzanne McClelland, and Emil Robinson

Curated by Matt Morris

Gallery hours: Saturdays 12–4pm and by appointment
Opening reception: Saturday, May 6, 3-6pm.
Exhibition dates: May 6-June 10, 2017.

Within these paintings, a syntax of abstraction is examined, not only for its potential to organize into language but to question how such language is used. The paintings in this exhibition deal with surface as a site for incident, working across more than into a picture plane. Taken together, these painters de/construct a psychological logic for how mark-making is accreted, gestures recorded, and spaces of the audience press up against the fronts of their canvases. The title of the exhibition is drawn from a line in Clarice Lispector’s The Passion According to G.H. in which a domestic existential crisis dismantles the protagonist’s relationship to language, humanity, selfhood, and matter. While place, text, and means of apprehension are suggested in these works, they are suspended in tension with painting’s directness—a scratching that looks past communication and toward a potential to trouble the structures by which the world around these paintings is organized.

Artist Bios

Since receiving her MFA in 2008 from the University of Minnesota, Caroline Kent has participated in numerous exhibitions including the California African American Museum, Los Angeles, CA, The Suburban, Chicago, IL, The Washington Park Arts Center, Chicago, IL, Elephant, Los Angeles, CA, and SUNY Duchess in Poughkeepsie, NY. Kent received the Jerome Fellowship in 2009-10. In 2012-13 she was a Creative City Making grant recipient. Kent has received the Minnesota Artist Initiative Grant, twice in 2010 and more recently in 2015. She is a 2015 recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant and most recently a 2016 recipient of the McKnight Artist Fellowship in Visual Art. In addition to her studio practice, Kent is co-founder of The Bindery Projects, an artist run exhibition space in Saint Paul, MN that has been exhibiting local and national artists since its inception in 2011.

Sofia Leiby is an artist based in New York. Solo exhibitions include The Making of a Beyonder at Kimmerich (Berlin); Thinking Creatively With Pictures at Clifton Benevento (NYC); and abcdefghijklmnop at Michael Jon & Alan (Miami). Her work has been featured in Artforum, Modern Painters, PAPER and Rhizome.org. Her writing has been published in BOMB Magazine.

Suzanne McClelland received a BFA from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor 1981. She moved to New York that year and later attended the School of Visual Arts MFA program, graduating in 1989. McClelland’s work can be found in numerous public collections including the Brooklyn Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. She lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

Emil Robinson is an artist known for paintings of evocative interior spaces. He is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Cincinnati. In 2007 Robinson was awarded a grant from the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation that allowed him to spend six months painting in London. In 2009, he presented a solo exhibition at the Taft Museum of Art in Cincinnati. That same year Robinson was a prize winner in the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. Recent presentations of Robinson’s work include a solo exhibition at Waterhouse and Dodd Contemporary in London and shows at Novella Gallery and Anna Zorina Gallery in New York.

Curator Bio

Matt Morris is an artist, writer, and sometimes curator based in Chicago. He has presented artwork nationally and internationally. Recent curatorial projects have been exhibited at Lovey Town, Madison, WI; the Terrain Biennial, Oak Park, IL; The Hills Esthetic Center, Chicago, IL; and Western Exhibitions, Chicago, IL. He is a contributor to Artforum.com, Art Papers, ARTnews, Flash Art, Newcity, and Sculpture; and his writing appears in numerous exhibition catalogues and artist monographs. He is a transplant from southern Louisiana who holds a BFA from the Art Academy of Cincinnati, and earned an MFA in Art Theory + Practice from Northwestern University, as well as a Certificate in Gender + Sexuality Studies. Morris is a lecturer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.