Visions of an Insomniac Soothsayer
September 18 - November 1, 2008
Opening reception: Thursday, September 18, 6 - 9 PM
Priska C. Juschka Fine Art presents Visions of an Insomniac Soothsayer, an exhibition of paintings by New York-based artist Jenna Gribbon. In her paintings, Gribbon invites viewers into the intimate environment of her bed, and unfurls the product of her own thoughts and experiences upon their surface.
Blending personal items with general objects, and domestic items with references to the natural world, Gribbon weaves a theatrical depiction of the everyday emotions and habits relating to spending time in bed. Acts of procrastination, thought processing, ceiling gazing, sleep and sex find various expressions in her layered works. Each painting is composed of imagery drawn from memory, observation, and photographs; this juxtaposition of sources echoes the manner in which images are stored in our minds-while some are vividly clear, others are hazy and abstracted.
One of Gribbon's key works, Compost (2008), depicts an array of objects arranged on her bed. Articles familiar to the bedridden, such as used tissues and cereal bowls, are joined by a suitcase, sticks, rocks and a cardboard cut-out of a star. This pile embodies the debris of daily life, which both drives us into bed, and weighs us down once there. The various components appear familiar, yet their presence in the current context is puzzling and disorienting. As a result, the work-much like a dream- opens up our mind to new associations and interpretations of the known facets of our lives. Another underlying thread throughout the exhibition is one of Gribbon's recurring dreams of an approaching tidal wave. The large painting Diagram of a Recurring Dream (2008) maps out the various stages of this vision, while smaller works display quotations of its specific elements.
In Gribbon's oeuvre, the bed is thus presented as a place that bears witness to our most harrowing private experiences, as well as to our most benign. This highly intimate place, whose very surface is shaped by our physical touch, functions as a microcosm of reality where our discomforts, fears and pleasures come to light upon it.
Jenna Gribbon was born in Knoxville, Tennessee and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Her work has been the subject of several solo and group exhibitions in the U.S. and abroad, including the Georgia Museum of Contemporary Art in Atlanta and most recently the National Academy of Design in New York City, NY. Related experience includes three commissioned paintings by Sofia Coppola for her film, Marie Antoinette, which premiered in New York at the Museum of Modern Art in October 2006.
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