press release

18.09.2021 - 02.01.2022

Jacqueline Humphries

The Wexner Center for the Arts at The Ohio State University will devote its galleries to the first large-scale museum exhibition for vanguard abstract painter Jacqueline Humphries. Guest-curated by Mark Godfrey, the exhibition will feature over 30 works, including a new multipanel installation—her largest to date—created in response to the center’s iconic postmodernist architecture.

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.

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 compositions.

The exhibition will also feature Humphries’s recent work exploring the visual language of 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.

A major catalogue featuring essays by Godfrey, Hamza Walker, Jenny Nachtigall, and Wex Executive Director Johanna Burton, along with a conversation between Humphries and Donna De Salvo, will accompany the exhibition. Designed by Studio Markus Weisbeck, this extensively illustrated catalogue offers an up-close view of Humphries’ recent practice. The catalogue will be co-published by Gregory R. Miller & Company and the Wexner Center for the Arts.

A robust lineup of talks and events will also occur throughout the exhibition’s run.