The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum is pleased to present Jessi Reaves: Kitchen Arrangement organized by The Aldrich’s curator Amy Smith-Stewart and Berlin-based artist and curator David Adamo. Reaves’s exhibition will feature sculptural works such as seating, cabinetry, appliances, and lighting for the presentation on view from May 20, 2018, to January 13, 2019.
Kitchen Arrangement will offer an object-based experience that is an expression of the home’s primal epicenter: a social space essential to living and an area full of relational potentiality. Arguably the most experiential site in the house, the kitchen has also evolved into a particularly feminine space. As shown here, debate, inquiry, community, and experimental freedom ably congregate, so art and life can comfortably coalesce.
Jessi Reaves’s sculptures impersonate and inhabit functional design objects—sofas, chairs, ottomans, tables, bookcases, lamps, cabinets, and coat racks—as she imaginatively remasters existing furniture or composes her own to underscore an inherent performativity. The unlikely union of disparate materials, steel, drift wood, saw dust, zippers, plywood, and car fenders, endows her charismatic objects with signifying temperaments that span the shapely and sensuous and the misshapen and contorted. Riffing on well-known modern designers, like the Eameses, Noguchi, or Sottsass, Reaves liberates her materials from their highly polished veneers. She dissects, appends, or veils her anthropomorphized forms in order to reveal inimitable additive and reductive processes, such as curious decorative flourishes made with a distinctive blend of wood glue and sawdust, or wearable fabrics (nylons and silks) that render her eccentric craftsmanship perceptible. These hybrid objects, to which she imparts beguiling attributes, emphasize and destabilize an in-built potential for corporeal interactivity.
Jessi Reaves (b. 1986, Portland, OR) received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence. Her work has been included in group exhibitions nationally and internationally, at venues including team gallery, inc., New York; Swiss Institute, New York; Herald St, London; and A Palazzo Gallery, Brescia, Italy. In 2016, Reaves presented her first solo gallery exhibition with Bridget Donahue, New York, and in 2017 her work was included in the Whitney Biennial. She lives and works in New York City.
Jessi Reaves: Kitchen Arrangement is one chapter in a series of concurrent exhibitions at The Aldrich brought together under the title The Domestic Plane: New Perspectives on Tabletop Art Objects, all of which explore the nature of small objects and our relationship to them.