“I think a painter’s first job is to get someone to look at a painting. Perhaps it’s about motion and light. Having a heightened sense of the painting changing in front of your eyes gives it an almost cinematic quality—light moves across the surface and makes new images before your eyes." —Jacqueline Humphries
Over the course of her nearly 30-year career, Jacqueline Humphries (b. 1960, New Orleans, Louisiana) has emerged as a singular force in contemporary art, an influential “artist’s artist” whose signature abstract works in metallic and ultraviolet pigments must be experienced firsthand.
Jacqueline Humphries is the artist’s first solo museum exhibition in nearly a decade and the very first to be held in her hometown. Comprised of entirely new works, the exhibition is the most extensive presentation to date of both her silver and blacklight paintings. Humphries’ densely layered, atmospheric canvases activate, and are activated by, the space around
them. The muted metallic surfaces of the silver paintings respond to shifting natural light and change with the movements of the viewer, positioning abstract painting as a theatrical, time-based art. The black-light paintings reveal their true nature—and actually emit light—only when “excited” by ultraviolet bulbs. These paintings, hung in a darkened environment, immerse viewers in spectacular fluorescence, and amplify their awareness of viewing and being viewed by others. Both bodies of works self-consciously engage the history of art and refer to popular culture as well, melding the drips, zips, and dots of mid-century abstraction with psychedelia and cinema’s silver screen.
This exhibition was organized by Carnegie Museum of Art.