top of page

Jennifer Coates | Edge Effects

In Collaboration with CHART Gallery
May 3 - June 22, 2024

High Noon and CHART galleries are pleased to present Edge Effects, a collaborative exhibition of new paintings by Jennifer Coates spanning both gallery spaces at 124 Forsyth St. in the Lower East Side and 74 Franklin St. in TriBeCa.


“Edge Effects” is an ecological term that refers to the sometimes problematic changes in biodiversity where different habitats converge. These transitional zones are called ecotones: animal/vegetable environments in flux, like ditches, forest edges, marshes and grasslands. The ecotone provides a metaphorical through line for Coates’s current paintings, in which micro-climates of imagery collide. Zones of color, marks, and depicted elements aggregate and are collaged together, creating a hybrid sense of place.


Coates uses acrylic and spray paint—synthetic chemicals—to represent the landscape, emphasizing the toxicity that now runs through most organisms. Despite this pervasive chemical presence, her paintings present an ecofeminist belief in the possibility of restoring the self through hyper connection with nature.


At the edges of shapes, halos and heightened optical effects take the viewer in and out of spatial logic. She repeatedly depicts plants that flourish in poor soil, found at edges between cultivation and wildness. These ditch weeds are ubiquitous in rural Pennsylvania where Coates works in the summer. Painting them has become a way to reconcile with invasive plant species. She anchors archetypes such as Diana, Pan, Dionysus, and the Maenads to the woodlands where she has spent much of her life, incorporating local wildlife like common birds and butterflies. The butterflies, for example, pollinate as well as “puddle”—a behavior that extracts minerals from mud, carrion, blood, and sometimes tears, signaling the edge between vitality and rot. In Coates’s paintings they also feed on the remains of Classical sculpture.


Portals appear as entrances to bunkers, caves, ruins, and passage tombs. Rocks are a new pictorial element for Coates that provide a further engagement with the materiality of paint. Structures and imagery are built up and broken down through her painterly process and go in and out of presence, at the edge of sense.

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, a 2021 NYFA Award in painting, a 2019 Fellowship at the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, and a Sharpe Walentas Studio residency (2018-2019). Recent solo shows include Untitled Art Miami 2022 with High Noon, Miami, FL; Para Pastoral at Pamela Salisbury Gallery, Hudson, NY; Lesser Gods of Lakewood, PA at High Noon, NYC; and Pagan Forest, West Chester University. Recent group shows include Wonderland, curated by Elizabeth Denny and Katie Alice Fitz, Aicon Gallery, New York, NY; And So Did Pleasure Take the Hand of Sorrow and They Wandered Through the Land of Joy, a group show centered around the drawings of Marsden Hartley, Bates College Museum of Art, Lewiston, ME; Psychedelic Landscape at Eric Firestone Gallery, NYC, and Post Pop Landscapes at Acquavella Galleries in NYC and Palm Beach, FL, curated by Todd Bradway. Her work has been written about in Hyperallergic, BOMB Magazine, the Brooklyn Rail, Art Critical, the Huffington Post, Smithsonian Journeys, and Art News, among other publications.

bottom of page