Jennifer Coates | Covid Metamorphoses
June 4 - June 27
Paul Whiting (George Gallery) and Jared Linge (High Noon) are pleased to present Covid Metamorphoses, a show of 9 drawings by Jennifer Coates. An interview between Whiting and Coates will accompany the show, which runs from June 4 - 27 at 136 Eldridge Street, in a temporary, pop-up space.
Last year in the beginning of the quarantine, Coates contracted COVID-19 and was sick and confined to bed for the month of April, 2020. She posted publicly on Facebook about her symptoms and struggles and also shared images of drawings she was making from bed. She had her computer, a box of colored pencils, a sharpener, and a pad of paper and made a studio.
Each drawing is a fever dream, a specific world unto itself, dense with graphic information. Forms collide in settings that flicker between forests and abstractions. The history of painting is the main character - a Delacroix tiger, petroglyphs of a sacrificial dance, bacchanals - we’ve seen these motifs before, but they are remixed and mashed up into a techno-heightened color world.
Art history is a place to self soothe. At the beginning of the lockdown, when everything was unsure, and we were being told that staying home was the most heroic thing to do, a WIFI connection was the only connection. Coates found a way to escape her predicament and find comfort in the past, but also create images where figures want to find each other, fall into each other, blur with their surroundings, all things that were impossible in that moment.
Jennifer Coates is an artist working in Brooklyn, NY and Lakewood, PA. She is the 2021 recipient of the John Koch Art Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a 2019 Fellowship at the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Umbria, Italy. Recent solo shows include Pagan Forest at West Chester University, PA and Toxic Halo at High Noon Gallery, NYC. Her work can currently be seen at the National Arts Club through the end of June in the group show Painting the Narrative. She teaches at the New York Academy of Art and the NYC Crit Club. She is also the co-host of “Pep Talks for Artists,” a weekly conversation on the Clubhouse app with fellow painter, Amy Talluto.
Covid Metamorphoses interview with Jennifer Coates by Paul Whiting