Jacqueline Humphries at the Wexner Center for the Arts, Ohio

18 September 2021 - 02 January 2022

A maverick figure in New York’s downtown scene, Humphries has reworked and revitalized the language of abstract painting over a career that has covered four decades and multiple transformations in style. The Wex’s presentation will focus on the past seven years, highlighting the importance of digital communications and online culture to Humphries’s evolving practice. Guest curated by Mark Godfrey, the exhibition features dozens of paintings, including a new multipanel installation—her largest to date—created in response to the center’s iconic postmodernist architecture.

Incorporating the QWERTY keyboard as a means of generating abstract form, some paintings feature emoticons, emoji, kaomoji, and CAPTCHA. Humphries produces others by scanning her earlier works, translating them into ASCII character code, and using stencils created from the results as the basis for new paintings.

The exhibition will also feature Humphries’s recent work exploring the visual language of corporate logos; her black light paintings, made with fluorescent paints to be presented in a darkened space; and a selection of protest sign paintings. These invoke art’s long history as a medium of dissent as well as the uprisings that have increasingly shaped modern politics. For this presentation, Humphries, Godfrey, and the Wex team have fixed on and multiplied the wedge shape of architect Peter Eisenman’s design of the center, creating semidiscrete galleries within galleries.

Watch wexarts.org for further details about upcoming programs, including a fall exhibition opening featuring a conversation between Humphries and guest curator Mark Godfrey; a free talk by Godfrey titled “Where Does Art Lie?”; and a performative dialogue between Humphries and artist and writer Felix Bernstein.


September 18, 2021