Nicelle Beauchene Gallery is pleased to present Works on Paper, a project space exhibition with California-based artist Jeni Spota C. This is her first presentation with the gallery.
Recognized for her distinct subject matter and approach to impasto oil painting, Spota’s practice manifests at the intersection of painting and dreaming: a space of image recall, reinterpretation, and reinvention. For Works on Paper, the artist’s approach becomes even more tactile. Small strips of ripped, twisted, and bunched painted papers coalesce with cut foam core and wafts of cotton, rendering scenes with a vibrational materiality.
This body of work returns to and expands upon Spota’s enduring fascination with early Renaissance painting, specifically Giotto’s depiction of the Last Judgement at the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua. For Spota, the Last Judgement and its manifold visual interpretations (including Pier Paolo Pasolini’s 1971 version in Il Decameron) serve as a kind of vehicle for accessing deeper knowledge about perennial polarities: salvation and damnation, order and chaos. While all of Spota’s paper collages follow the same compositional schema, each piece uniquely deviates with their specific iconography. Colorful birds, books, shields, griffins, and peace signs commingle with the holy, the damned, winged angels, and Christ himself. Spota’s hallucinatory collages present an expanded vocabulary for what painting might be, and find levity in the ceremonial events of life between life and death.
Jeni Spota C. (b. 1982, New York) lives and works in Long Beach, CA. She received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2007. Solo exhibitions include Brennan & Griffin, New York (2016, 2013, 2010); Don’t Tread On Me, Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica, CA (2009); and Giotto’s Dream, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL (2008), among others. She has been included in group exhibitions at Bridge Projects, Los Angeles (2022); Whitechapel Gallery, London (2021); Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara (2021); DePaul Art Museum, Chicago (2017); Misako and Rosen, Tokyo (2017); Saatchi Gallery, London (2016); Jewish Museum, New York (2015); Venus Over Manhattan, New York (2012); Luxembourg & Dayan, New York (2011); Josh Lilley, London (2011); Parrish Art Museum, Southampton (2010); and Andrea Rosen Gallery (2009), among numerous others.