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THE D R AWI N G CENTER

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Jennifer Wynne Reeves All Right for Now


The Drawing Center October 12, 2018 – February 3, 2019 Drawing Room


Jennifer Wynne Reeves All Right for Now

Organized by Claire Gilman with Rosario GĂźiraldes


D R AW I N G PA P E R S 13 9

Essays by Claire Gilman and Matthew Weinstein


Director’s Foreword

By all accounts, the artist Jennifer Wynn Reeves lived in—and through—her work. From her home in the Upper Delaware River town of Callicoon, New York, Reeves created a world of colored shapes and patterns on canvas, on paper, and even on the walls of her apartment and studio. Residing in relative isolation, in an region where winter begins in September and ends in May, in a village without a bookstore or a train station, she shared her visions with a larger art world through social media, posting photos of her works accompanied by observations, wry commentary, and ruminations both poetic and philosophical. In this first (and sadly posthumous) survey of Reeves’s work, The Drawing Center continues its mandate to share the visions of lesser known artists so as to give context, scholarship, and respect to bodies of work that not only deserve to be better known, but that viewers deserve to see. The institution’s thanks go to our Chief Curator, Claire Gilman, for her superb organization of this exhibition and publication, which she executed with the help of Assistant Curator and Open Sessions Curator Rosario Güiraldes; to our lenders and supporters, all motivated by the desire to share Reeves’s achievements

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with a larger public; and finally to the Jennifer Wynne Reeves Trust for its mandate to keep this artist’s memory alive through the art she produced. In his sensitive and loving essay about Reeves, an artist he knew primarily through the work she shared on Facebook, the artist Matthew Weinstein observes that the joy we feel when we look at her colorful, absurd, and lighthearted conflations of abstraction and figuration occurs because her works allow us to imagine the artist’s joy in their making. In a language quirky and altogether unique, Reeves’s paintings and drawings encourage empathy for, and a connection to, an artist whom we will never meet, and to the noble process of making a life in and of art. —Laura Hoptman Executive Director

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Curator’s Acknowledgments

This show would not have happened without Isabella Hutchinson, so my first thanks must go to her. I am so glad that she introduced me to Jennifer’s bold, idiosyncratic work and, through that, to Jennifer the person, whose undaunted, fiery spirit lives on in her paintings, drawings, and photographs, her words, and in the memories of her loved ones. Jennifer was a profound, independent creator in a world too often consumed by market trends. I wish I could have known her. Next, I extend my gratitude to the incomparable R. Louis Reeves, Jennifer’s uncle, for his bottomless love and support of Jennifer and her work. I am equally grateful to the Jennifer Wynne Reeves Trust who has made this show possible and, especially, to Isabella, Louis, Wendy Cooper, and Patterson Sims, for their continuous support of this show, as well as for lending works. I would also like to thank lenders Carolyn Blackwood, Jill Brienza, GE Galeria, Carol Hepper and Laury Sejen, Beth Rudin DeWoody, Steve Shane, the Tang Museum, Archie Rand, Betty Tompkins, and Catherine DeLattre. At GE Galeria, I am grateful to Paulina Garza Martínez who was endlessly patient with our questions and requests for information. My gratitude also goes to Archie Rand and Magaly Perez, who

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illuminated my understanding of Jennifer’s work with selflessness and tenderness. Finally, I thank Matthew Weinstein for the profound insights in his contribution to this catalogue. At The Drawing Center, thanks especially to Rosario Güiraldes, Assistant Curator and Open Sessions Curator, whose deep belief in Jennifer from day one infused her tireless dedication to every detail of this exhibition. Finally, I would like to express my deep gratitude for the support of The Drawing Center’s Board of Trustees as well as the funders who have supported this exhibition and its accompanying catalogue: Jennifer Wynne Reeves Trust; Isabella Hutchinson and Diego Gradowczyk; the Toby Devan Lewis Donor Advised Fund of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland; Fiona and Eric Rudin; Beth Rudin DeWoody and Firooz Zahedi; David Steinhardt; Lee and Louis Reeves; Blick Art Materials, LLC; FM Brush Company; Steve Shane; Dan Lebson and Tom Wilinksy; David Reed; Bernadette Ward and Ladd Forsline, Colorfin; Elena and Holden Stein; and anonymous donors. —Claire Gilman, Chief Curator

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I keep thinking of Tom Petty singing, “So sleep tight, baby, unfurl your brow and know I love you, it’s all right for now. It’s all right for now.” Is it all worth it—loving the mystery—our science of the irrational? I think so. Today. It’s all right. For now. jwr, facebook, april 13, 2010*

* Beginning in 2004, Reeves had a consistent practice of writing posts on Facebook and typically pairing them with an image of one of her works. A selection of her Facebook texts is included throughout this volume.

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Jennifer Wynne Reeves: All Right for Now, An Introduction Claire Gilman

Thank you, thank you very much dear Paint-Maker in the Sky, Wonderful-Clump-Slinger. I bow to you, elastic air-mud, skilled in your somethingness your infinite emptiness that is so, so, full. I pick up my pencil at the beginning of a picture, at my so-called looming end, and rejoice evermore. —jwr, 2012 How to describe Jennifer Wynne Reeves, a woman I never had the privilege of meeting and whose life, by all accounts, was synonymous with her artistic identity? Friends and loved ones recount an individual who was extraordinary in the truest sense of the word: completely fearless, unconcerned with market trends, and consumed with creative curiosity through her bout with cervical cancer in 2005 up until her untimely death from brain cancer in 2014 at age fifty-one. Born in rural Michigan, Reeves was raised by her grandmother during a traumatic childhood that included her mother’s institutionalization for schizophrenia and her father’s murder when Reeves was thirteen. Hoping to provide the child with a spiritual foundation, Reeves’s grandmother sent her to a Christian Science church and the religion stuck. Reeves was up front about her spirituality throughout her life even as she was savvy enough not to advertise it to a highly secular and cynical

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art world. But in this, as in all things, Reeves forged her own way. Eschewing a promising career in opera, Reeves also turned down admission to the prestigious MFA program at Columbia University following a stint at the Vermont Studio School (now known as the Vermont Studio Center), and, after spending a few years in Paris, settled outside of New York City in upstate Callicoon. There she purchased a home, and later an apartment, which she turned into veritable works of art by decorating the rooms and by drawing and painting on the walls in simulation of her two-dimensional work. When Facebook was born in 2004, Reeves was among its first users, actively manipulating the medium by pairing original texts with images of her paintings, drawings, and photographs. She was in this sense a pioneer, seizing opportunity where it arose and manipulating form for the expression of her own idiosyncratic content. Reeves’s friends characterize her exceptionality in different ways but all agree that she was unique, even among impassioned artists. Her uncle Louis referred to her in a recent conversation as the only true intellectual he has ever known, while her professor at the Vermont Studio School, Archie Rand, deemed her a true prodigy— someone who lived and breathed creativity because it was natural to do so, not because of a concern for consequences.1 And this absorptive approach to artmaking is present in her work—specifically, in a kind of unnamable conviction that accompanies her absurd scenarios wherein perplexing encounters between anthropomorphized scribbles and stacks of crusty paint take up residence in familiar, anodyne landscapes. “Abstractions on a representational journey” she called them, and repeatedly, her linear and globular protagonists wander, both literally and metaphorically, travelling through snowy landscapes and forests dense with trees, or gazing through picture windows that puncture ornate interiors.2 This peculiar dialogue between figuration and abstraction is Reeves’s singular achievement (even among the varied responses of her peers to the abstraction/

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Louis Reeves, conversation with the author, July 2, 2018; Archie Rand, conversation with the author, July 27, 2018. Jennifer Wynne Reeves, “Artist Statement” (2007–08), http://www. jenniferreevesarchive.com/about/. There is a variation on this statement in Reeves’s book Soul Bolt (self-pub., Blurb, 2013), 24.


representation dyad, Reeves’s approach is inarguably unique) and it is what gives her work its specific emotional resonance. Suffering, desire, anxiety, indecision—these states of being are palpable in Reeves’s work and narrativized in her precise landscapes even as her drooping lines and jagged scribbles refuse anecdotal clarity. Like us, her protagonists are indescribable and uncontainable, but they continually face concrete situations that demand action. The “correct” action for them to take is always in question in these moments, with each turn or opening—a river, a road, a street sign, or a window—signaling both a way out and a potential détournement: “One of the things I love about making art now . . . [is] finding the trap doors,” Reeves observed in 2013.3 In another context she stated, “To me, where the art really exists is the place where it moves from one point to another, in the artist’s mind.”4 We might as well substitute the word life for art here since, for Reeves, they were one and the same. In a particularly poetic anecdote, Reeves writes on Facebook about being on stage as a college music and drama major. She notes that she loved theater not because she wanted to be noticed but because she wanted to be both present and hidden at the same time: “I am hidden on stage in the light with artists,” she wrote.5 Reeves’s paintings and drawings enact this peculiar condition. The scenes are coherent, the emotions tangible, but to what these emotions actually pertain remains unexpressed. Ambiguity and instability apply equally to Reeves’s choice of materials as throughout her career, but particularly towards the end, she moved back and forth between painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, and writing. Some people might question The Drawing Center’s hosting the first museum survey of Reeves’s work given that she was frequently lauded for her facility with paint, and yet I am confident that Reeves would not have made this kind of distinction between media. Indeed, lines appear in Reeves’s paintings just as

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5

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Jennifer Wynne Reeves, interview with Julia Schwartz on www.painters-table.com, March 1, 2013. Archived at http://www.jenniferreevesarchive.com/reviews/. James Scarborough, “Facebook as an Artistic Platform: An Interview with Jennifer Wynne Reeves,” July 1, 2013. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/ james-scarborough/ facebook-as-an-artistic-p_b_3196787.html. Jennifer Wynne Reeves, Facebook, November 2, 2012. Accessed August 10, 2018.


paint finds its way into her works on paper. It is true that Reeves often used lines to indicate something specific such as an extension across boundaries—consider the elongated arm offered by the boat-bound protagonist to the hovering bird in Standard of Liberty (2013) [PL. 27]. By contrast, paint frequently suggests a massing or closing in: for example, the turbulent, dripping sky in Abstract Guys Hand-Stuff a Mattress (2005) [PL. 10]. But really, it is impossible to make a clear distinction between the two media within Reeves’s work. Indeed, paint is frequently comprised of lines just as Reeves’s lines are literally made up of paint. For example, the ominous projection in the lower left-hand corner of Place (2-1) (1996) is in fact a dense accumulation of jagged marks, while the linear figure that occupies the composition’s passing barge is actually a stack of thick impasto [PL. 7]. What her materials and marks do is interchangeable, dependent on place and situation.6 As Reeves put it, “It doesn’t matter what medium an artist uses; all that matters is the way the medium is used. To me, that is spirituality, that is wisdom and a thoroughly viable artistic avenue.”7 Spirituality and creativity are equivalent in this scenario because both involve the act of claiming a truth or staking a belief while acknowledging that this truth is only accessible in the partiality of its realization in life or in art. “I cannot fathom infinity,” Reeves posted on Facebook in 2012, “but I have faith something insightful can happen on a blank page, scratch by scratch.”8 I would like to conclude with a work that is neither a painting nor a drawing but a photograph, albeit one that includes, like so much of Reeves’s work, a compendium of other materials within it. Voice of Translator (2008) is mostly empty expanse, or rather, it is mostly a view of the open sea (another of Reeves’s favorite subjects) [PL. 30]. On the edge, at the left, a shingled house juts into view while, on the right-hand side, painted directly on the photograph, one (or two?) of Reeves’s signature linear characters extends its arm, tentacle-like, into

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Not incidentally, many of Reeves’s paintings and drawings between 1995 and 1998 have the title Place. Scarborough, “Facebook as an Artistic Platform: An Interview with Jennifer Wynne Reeves.” Jennifer Wynne Reeves, Facebook, September 11, 2012. Accessed August 10, 2018.


the open field. If this figure is the scene’s protagonist and the house its setting, between them lies narrative, or the situation that must be crossed, entered into, somehow bridged, however frightening or untenable this prospect appears to be.9 The titular translator could be many things (the above-mentioned protagonist, spirituality, art itself) but what is crucial is that, for Reeves, some sort of translation must take place. It is this belief, this absolute conviction, that is imprinted on the surface of her work—“scratch by scratch.”

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I derive this tripartite division of the work—character, place, and narrative— from Archie Rand, who describes breaking things down this way for Jennifer when she was his student at the Vermont Studio School. Rand, conversation with the author, July, 27, 2018.


The Slightly Maddening JWR

Matthew Weinstein

pastoral Tityrus, lying there, under the spreading beech-tree cover, you study the woodland Muse, on slender shepherd’s pipe. We are leaving the sweet fields and the frontiers of our country: we are fleeing our country: you, Tityrus, idling in the shade, teach the woods to echo ‘ lovely Amaryllis.’ —virgil1 Though the traditional pastoral genre has to do with sheep and shepherds, it has been used so often as a term to define the idealization of country life that we can let the sheep go. Thomas Hardy took the simplicity out of the pastoral and made urban microcosms out of country communities that disappoint the landscapes that surround them. Gustave Flaubert put a knife in the pastoral. With Madame Bovary, he created a hell of desperate characters trying to flee provincial vulgarities. The British literary critic William Empson, in his book Some Versions of Pastoral,

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Virgil, “Eclogue 1, The Dialogue of Meliboeus and Tityrus,” in Eclogues, trans. A. S. Klein (Poetry in Translation, 2001), https://www.poetryintranslation.com/PITBR/ Latin/VirgilEclogues.php.


defined the pastoral as any work about the people but not by or for them (and here I paraphrase), meaning that idealization equates to condescension, or worse, to complete ignorance of what goes on outside one’s own class.2 Regarding the pastoral, Jennifer Wynne Reeves is somewhere between Empson and Virgil. While living in the beautiful Catskills (they really are beautiful), Reeves channeled a complex persona through her active social media presence. Reeves presented herself as torn, ambitious, frustrated, whip-smart, regretful, and self-mythologizing. Reeves was no advertisement for leaving the city for a simpler life. Yet there she was. Not stuck, like Emma Bovary, nor a tragic figure with no agency—dependent on that landscape for content. And her work registers this contrast. OK. So. Everything is a disappointing or even inverted version of the ideal. Trouble in paradise, etc. Certainly this is not a new refrain in art. But, from painter to painter, it can be argued that technique is more varied than subject matter. And a good painter knows how to express contradictions between content and meaning through technique. Reeves possessed a unique grasp of technique. No matter how pastoral her imagery, something about the viscosity and lubricity of her paint-handling always insulted the sweetness. There is a sense that the artist has digested this landscape, and all the little houses and big trees and fish and snow and . . . here they are again, passed through me, and not so taken for granted, now that they don’t line up with what we already have in our consensus-driven memories as tree, house, rock wall. Pierre Bonnard did this. So did Marcel Proust’s fictional painter, Elstir: Naturally enough, what he had in his studio were almost all seascapes done here, at Balbec. But I was able to discern from these that the charm of each of them lay in a sort of metamorphosis of the things represented in it, analogous to what in poetry we call metaphor, and that, if God the Father had created things by naming them, it was

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William Empson, English Pastoral Poetry, published in England under the title Some Versions of Pastoral (New York: W. W. Norton & Co, Inc., 1938), 6.


by taking away their names or giving them other names that Elstir created them anew.3 talent So what is talent? It certainly isn’t the ability to draw horses that look like horses, Reeves didn’t do that (maybe she could, whatever). Perhaps talent is free reign; a free-range artist in a pastoral setting who avoids making corny paintings about it by looking at it with the jaundiced eye of the urban striver. This is Reeves’s pastoral. The beautiful agricultural disappointment that is much of upstate NY, used by the city as vacationland, or worse, just a perimeter. The American contemporary art world is probably the only cultural arena that deeply distrusts talent. And talent is most easily recognizable within painting. Many painters bury their talent in faux-naïve figuration or blankness, and some simply have no talent at all, which can also be interesting (or depressing). But Reeves gave full reign to her talent. In her painting practice, paint is pushed around and built up with ease. A button or a wire is added to a painting with the rightness of couture. Color is profuse, and it feels like it needs to be that way. When someone operates with so much freedom, it makes the rest of us feel like we are spending too much time saying “no” to our instincts. We can get a little ruffled about that. It disrupts our American tendency to compartmentalize work and leisure. It’s an overspill from the creative pipeline that is supposed to run directly from studio to institution or buyer. Some artists are able to transmit a sense of joy, not just through their work, but also through how we imagine what it feels like to make that work, and the accompanying freedoms therein. The artist is representing, usually not planned, a pastoral mode of being.

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Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time, Volume 2: In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower, trans. C. Scott Moncrieff, ed. William C. Carter (New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2015), 450–51. Originally published as À l’ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs (Paris: Gallimard, 1919).


Not everyone has to know that supplying dreams for others often leaves the creator out of the dream. In his cut-outs, Henri Matisse presented a sun-drenched ideal of liberation from technique. But he was in a wheelchair after being diagnosed with cancer. For many of us, the studio is more like a giant magnet than a refuge. context I don’t think that Reeves ever had much of a context, but I could create one for her, and it would mostly consist of painters who are also their own self-generating contexts. Donald Baechler, Dana Schutz, Jonathan Lasker, and David Humphrey could be the basis of a context for Reeves. Big paint. One could also go the route of Jane Hammond, Molly Crabapple, and Swoon, artists who inhabit folk, craft, or outsider guises. From former generations, Alan Shields, Ralph Humphrey, Jorge de la Vega, Richard Pousette-Dart, and Florine Stettheimer would work. I didn’t know Reeves’s work very well previous to knowing her as an online presence. I met her in person only a few times. But she has somehow attached herself to me. It has been good. Since her death, every once in a while, I get a message about her work. Someone just bought a few paintings from an estate (I directed them to her dealer). I learned that there will be a show focused on her drawings (hence the essay you are now reading). And, well played. This is how context occurs in the afterlife of an artist: with a trail of supernatural bread crumbs. home There are some artists with big talent as decorators. Cy Twombly is the uber-artist-decorator. Julian Schnabel is a Twombly decorator disciple, but he’s no slouch in his own right. Reeves, who had nowhere near the resources of these two, could have done justice to a mega-loft or a palazzo, given the opportunity. And it would have been a wonderful opportunity, because she could have dragged all her bric-a-brac including a table full of toy horses with an antique sign for “pony rides” over it (a gesture I would ordinarily loathe, but

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she pulled it off); crazy cacti; illusionistic drawn-on wallpaper (which always reminded me of women during World War II, who used to draw a line down their calves to make it look like they were wearing stockings, or so a friend’s mother told me); and then settled in like a provincial cousin with more guile than the inhabitants, much like Honoré de Balzac’s Cousin Bette, undermining the aristocracy from the not-quite-inside. Sadly, this never happened. Photos of Reeves’s home in the Catskills, when she posted them, revealed a world of charm— refurbished furniture and sun pouring through windows. Those scribbles on all the walls, the abovementioned faux wallpaper, are indeed beautiful, but they also have a bit of the midnight rage against life with a stick of graphite that, in hands less capable of artistic sublimation, might as well have been an axe. One could say that this rage meant “Get me out of here!” But, like the pastoral, a genre that in its modern form is caught between the ideal and the disappointment of the real, the modern pastoral seems to have been Reeves’s element. jennifer The ultimate proof of the potency of an artist one resists is their inability to be dismissed. Then they “grow on you.” You begin to realize that the transformation of the work in your estimation is in itself a valuable experience. At first, you have no real argument for why you question the work. So you are in the banal zone of I just like what I like, which is no way to live. I’m waiting. Not to learn how important they are, but for the work to supersede the narrative. What matters is that when an artwork enters the atmosphere of one’s being, and you know that it’s real, and felt, and made in a moment that will outlive the artist, it doesn’t matter if it was made to fit into the confines of your aesthetic fence posts. It’s broader than that. And if you can’t learn from that, then that’s just too bad.

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space When Jennifer died, I thought of a beautiful little painting of hers, a gloppy silver thing with some sort of paint blob stuck in it. Some other stuff. I don’t know. And I thought of how this thing must have made so much sense to her in the moment. And that its cosmic absurdity is so beautiful. It’s the ultimate pastoral. The world beyond all complexity. Just space and the little bits of matter that, like gentle sheep, nibble on it. An infinite and nutritive field.

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Attempting to make original visionary art is like robbing a bank. You might get away with it but probably won’t . . . unless you’re a Robin Hood or an artist. To paint is to steal away the revelations of head and heart while banking on the poverty that is you. It’s a crazy endeavor, likely lost, but lunacy has a way of seeing possibilities breaking through the cracks of doubt. And no cement can stop that flower. jwr, facebook, november 6, 2009

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PL . 1

Day 12-22-93, 1993


PL . 2

Place (5), 1995


PL . 3

Place (52), 1995


PL . 4

Place 3-3, 1996


PL . 5

Place (43), 1995


PL . 6

Place (4-18), 1997


PL . 7

Place (2-1), 1996


PL . 8

Initial Impulse: Two Ab Exers Loving the Mystery, 2000


I think the frustration one encounters in the art of our time is a way to exhaust the mind so that, like tired children, we just give up and give into the non-answers of existence. This in turn is a hopeful state because then we might move forward, only this time with the acknowledgement that we can’t know everything. jwr, facebook, december 12, 2009

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PL . 9

Abstract Sailors, 2005


PL . 10

Abstract Guys Hand-Stuff a Mattress, 2005


PL . 11

Bittersweet, 2005


PL . 12

It’s Alright, 2005


Picasso didn’t paint his lovers. He painted his perception of his lovers, no, not quite. He painted love itself. He painted different types of love. Sexlove, Mother-love, Sad-love, Tortured-love, Peacelove, Aging-love, Penis-love but, but not divine Love. That was Matisse’s area and maybe why he was so drawn to him and vice versa. Still, I think there’s something divine about his line, anyway. Okay, I take that back. He did paint divine Love. It’s in the guitars, the love of art. I know he was a self-professed atheist. He refused to go to Matisse’s chapel but years after Matisse died he did go. The receptionist gave him an envelope. It was a letter from Matisse. It said something like, ‘I knew you believed.’ Those two men, those two artists, had a rapport. It didn’t matter what side they were on, what name they used for love, God or not. It didn’t matter. That’s what art can do. That’s why I put my love there and I suspect I’m not the only one. jwr, facebook, april 27, 2011

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PL . 13

Mondrian Guy and Expressionist Guy Take a Walk, 2005


PL . 14

Untitled, 2003


PL . 15

Stoic Stack Guy, 2005


PL . 16

Glory, 2005


PL . 17

We Need More Scratch, 2005


If any and all emotion cannot be expressed, no matter how irrational, in art and in life, then you might as well be in a bad relationship with a guy who’s always telling you to calm down because you stubbed your toe and said, “ow!”. True, there could be some moments when you might lie and say “Oh, no, that didn’t hurt at all. Thank you for asking,” but, overall, emotional honesty is paramount. Without it, all the morality in the world is a falsity. So let’s here [sic] it for emotional honesty in art – we need all the practice we can get and then some. jwr, facebook, february 5, 2010


PL . 18

Untitled (Abstraction Inside, Tree Outside), 2004


PL . 19

All Is Well, 2014


PL . 20

Untitled (Bedroom), 2003


PL . 21

Stack Guy and Spiral Guy in the Bedroom, 2004


PL . 22

Mirroring Society, 2003


Every tragedy is regenerative if the players can get past pity and learn to love anyway. If the perception of one’s own tragedy remains stuck in the mire, forever rehearsing horrors, then there’s no hope to be had. Nietzsche refused a cheating hope, promised but not delivered by his religion or, at least, those who professed to know what his religion was. He was courageous to declare THAT god dead or false. His is a rebellion that saves religion. Beyond saying there’s a fire that burns in our hearts, I don’t know what this religion may be but I think it’s the big secret artists share regardless of their extreme differences. Loving the mystery all day long. jwr, facebook, april 29, 2010

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Abstraction, more or less, goes in two directions. Starting with the senses, an artist’s perception goes in and in and in or, beginning at the core (wherever that is), the mind works out, making a break for realization. I’m interested in the point at which abstraction punches outward going from thought to ‘thing,’ from desire to attainment, from fantasy to fact, (from date to divorce!). I wonder, what would it look like if thoughts had shape and walked around with us? I guess they already do. When I look at you, that’s what I see. jwr, facebook, october 18, 2010

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PL . 23

Companionship, 2005


PL . 24

Stick Guy Gets Ready to Take on the Blank, 2005


PL . 25

I Should Go Out and Make Something of Myself, 2005


I don’t think of beauty in relation to happiness but, rather, joy. When I’m struck by beauty, I don’t feel impelled forward as much as I feel steadied in the now and regardless of depressing circumstances. Not that I am disinterested in changes but become disinterested in outlining them. Something else, something beautiful, is in charge of that. I sense I can trust it, whatever it is, and let go of verdicts. Beauty’s presence is open-ended, just like art, in the future, in the past and right now. jwr, facebook, october 30, 2010

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PL . 26

I See Two Birds, 2012


PL . 27

Standard of Liberty, 2013


For many artists questions of existence are woven between questions of composition. A line isn’t just a line and a color isn’t just a color. They’re tributary to something larger than themselves, they flow into another bigger river called composition, a chosen road taken to an unknown end. But, just like love, just like life, just like death, sometimes you get pushed down a road you don’t want to go. jwr, facebook, april 29, 2011

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PL . 28

Far Away but Not Far Apart, 2013


PL . 29

Swallow, 2013


PL . 30

Voice of Translator, 2008


I believe in greatness, achieving greatness and aiming to make great work but shy away from labeling people as greater than other people. We’re all in this together. Let’s encourage everyone’s greatness to come out and to be the great ones they are. And don’t give me any grief about the contextual subjectivity of greatness as if a person can’t make a judgement and then change their mind. Great buildings survive earthquakes if their foundations sit on shock absorbers. Honing one’s ace-detector demands a flexible idea of what’s great. Our world needs its splendors. Let’s say they’re great . . . at least, until they’re not. jwr, facebook, february 24, 2014

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PL . 31

Sketchbook, 1990


PL . 32

Sketchbook, 1990


PL . 33

Sketchbook, 1990


PL . 34

Sketchbook, 1990


PL . 35

Sketchbook, c. 1991


PL . 36

Sketchbook, 1997


PL . 37

Sketchbook, 2000


PL . 38

Sketchbook, 2002


PL . 39

Sketchbook, 2003


PL . 40

Sketchbook, 2003–04


PL . 41

Sketchbook, 2004


PL . 42

Sketchbook, 2005


L ist o f W o r k s

PL . 6

Place (4-18), 1997 PL . 1

Acrylic and pencil on birch hardwood

Day 12-22-93, 1993

21 x 31 1/2 inches

Gouache on paper

Collection of Steve Shane

12 x 9 inches Courtesy of the Jennifer Wynne Reeves Trust

PL . 7

Place (2-1), 1996 PL . 2

Oil and pencil on multimedia board

Place (5), 1995

12 x 22 inches

Acrylic and pencil on multimedia board

Collection of Jill Brienza and Nick Daraviras

11 x 14 inches Collection of Wendy Cooper and Stephen

PL . 8

Feingold

Initial Impulse: Two Ab Exers Loving the Mystery, 2000

PL . 3

Acrylic and pencil on birch panel

Place (52), 1995

64 x 120 inches

Acrylic and pencil on multimedia board

Courtesy of GE GalerĂ­a

38 x 24 inches

Not in exhibition

Courtesy of the Jennifer Wynne Reeves Trust PL . 9 PL . 4

Abstract Sailors, 2005

Place 3-3, 1996

Gouache on paper

Beeswax, oil pastel, and pencil on paper

11 x 14 inches

14 3/4 x 22 1/4 inches

Private collection

Courtesy of the Jennifer Wynne Reeves Trust PL . 10 PL . 5

Abstract Guys Hand-Stuff a Mattress, 2005

Place (43), 1995

Gouache and pencil on paper

Acrylic and pencil on multimedia board

11 x 14 inches

14 x 22 inches

Collection of Isabella Hutchinson and

Courtesy of the Jennifer Wynne Reeves Trust

Diego Gradowczyk, New York PL . 11

Bittersweet, 2005 Gouache on paper 11 x 14 inches Courtesy of the Jennifer Wynne Reeves Trust

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PL . 12

PL . 17

It’s Alright, 2005

We Need More Scratch, 2005

Gouache on paper

Gouache and pencil on paper

11 x 14 inches

11 x 14 inches

Private collection, New York

Private collection, New York

PL . 13

PL . 18

Mondrian Guy and Expressionist Guy

Untitled (Abstraction Inside, Tree Outside), 2004

Take a Walk, 2005

Acrylic on board

Gouache and pencil on paper

56 x 77 inches

11 x 14 inches

Courtesy of GE GalerĂ­a

Private collection, New York

Not in exhibition

PL . 14

PL . 19

Untitled, 2003

All Is Well, 2014

Gouache on paper

Acrylic and collage on panel

9 1/2 x 12 inches

47 x 76 inches

Collection of Isabella Hutchinson and

Courtesy of the Jennifer Wynne Reeves Trust

Diego Gradowczyk, New York PL . 20 PL . 15

Untitled (Bedroom), 2003

Stoic Stack Guy, 2005

Gouache and pencil on paper

Gouache on paper

9 1/2 x 12 1/4 inches

11 x 14 inches

Collection of Isabella Hutchinson and

Private collection, New York

Diego Gradowczyk, New York

PL . 16

PL . 21

Glory, 2005

Stack Guy and Spiral Guy in the Bedroom, 2004

Gouache and acrylic on paper

Watercolor

11 x 14 inches

11 x 14 inches

The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum

Collection of Isabella Hutchinson and

and Art Gallery, Skidmore College,

Diego Gradowczyk, New York

Saratoga Springs, New York, Gift of the Jennifer Wynne Reeves Trust, 2016.16.2

PL . 22

Mirroring Society, 2003 Gouache on paper 9 1/2 x 12 1/4 inches Collection of Isabella Hutchinson and Diego Gradowczyk, New York

95


PL . 23

PL . 28

Companionship, 2005

Far Away but Not Far Apart, 2013

Gouache and acrylic on paper

Gouache, pencil, and wire on paper

11 x 14 inches

15 1/4 x 23 inches

The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum

Collection of Beth Rudin DeWoody

and Art Gallery, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York Gift of the

PL . 29

Jennifer Wynne Reeves Trust, 2016.16.2

Swallow, 2013 Frame, oil pastel, pencil, acrylic, hard molding

PL . 24

paste, glass beads, and India ink on panel

Stick Guy Gets Ready to Take on the Blank, 2005

19 1/2 x 15 inches

Gouache on paper

Collection of Betty Tompkins and Bill Mutter

11 x 14 inches Collection of Maria and Archie Rand

PL . 30

Voice of Translator, 2008 PL . 25

Gouache and archival ink on paper

I Should Go Out and Make Something of Myself,

20 3/4 x 30 inches

2005

Courtesy of the Jennifer Wynne Reeves Trust

Gouache on paper 11 x 14 inches

PL . 31

Private collection, New York

Sketchbook, 1990 Spiral-bound, brown Strathmore sketchbook

PL . 26

6 x 8 inches

I See Two Birds, 2012

Courtesy of the Jennifer Wynne Reeves Trust

Gouache, pencil, and wire on hard molding paste on paper

PL . 32

11 1/2 x 15 1/2 inches

Sketchbook, 1990

Collection of Carol Hepper and Laury Sejen

Spiral-bound, brown Strathmore sketchbook 10 x 8 inches

PL . 27

Standard of Liberty, 2013 Gouache, pencil, wire, and oil pastel on hard molding paste on paper 12 1/2 x 15 1/4 inches Collection of Carolyn Marks Blackwood

96

Courtesy of the Jennifer Wynne Reeves Trust


PL . 33

PL . 39

Sketchbook, 1990

Sketchbook, 2003

Spiral-bound, brown Strathmore Drawing

Spiral-bound, brown Bristol sketchbook

sketchbook

6 1/4 x 4 1/4 inches

6 1/4 x 4 inches

Courtesy of the Jennifer Wynne Reeves Trust

Courtesy of the Jennifer Wynne Reeves Trust PL . 40 PL . 34

Sketchbook, 2003–04

Sketchbook, 1990

Spiral-bound, white Bristol sketchbook

Perfect-bound, tan Dessin Drawing sketchbook

6 1/4 x 4 1/4 inches

6 1/4 x 4 1/4 inches

Courtesy of Catherine DeLattre

Courtesy of the Jennifer Wynne Reeves Trust PL . 41 PL . 35

Sketchbook, 2004

Sketchbook, c. 1991

Perfect-bound black Moleskine sketchbook

Spiral-bound, grey Dessin Drawing sketchbook

5 5/8 x 3 5/8 inches

6 1/4 x 4 1/4 inches

Courtesy of the Jennifer Wynne Reeves Trust

Courtesy of the Jennifer Wynne Reeves Trust PL . 42 PL . 36

Sketchbook, 2005

Sketchbook, 1997

Perfect-bound black Moleskine sketchbook

Spiral-bound Bordeaux sketchbook

8 1/4 x 5 1/4 inches

5 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches

Courtesy of the Jennifer Wynne Reeves Trust

Courtesy of the Jennifer Wynne Reeves Trust NOT PICTURED PL . 37

Sketchbook, 2000

Rothko Decides to Give It Another Try, 2000

Spiral-bound green Zeinchenblock/

Acrylic and pencil on birch panel

Skizzenblock Vang sketchbook

47 x 88 inches

7 x 4 7/8 inches

Collection of Isabella Hutchinson and

Courtesy of the Jennifer Wynne Reeves Trust

Diego Gradowczyk, New York

PL . 38

Untitled, 2005

Sketchbook, 2002

Gouache on paper

Spiral-bound, white Bristol sketchbook

11 x 14 inches

6 1/4 x 4 1/4 inches

Private collection, New York

Courtesy of the Jennifer Wynne Reeves Trust

97


CONTRIBUTORS

Claire Gilman is Chief Curator at The Drawing Center. Matthew Weinstein is an artist who lives in Brooklyn, NY. He works in painting and 3D animation. He explores virtuality as an integral part of, and not an alternative to, lived experience. He is also a regular contributor to Artforum magazine.


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Jennifer Wynne Reeves: All Right for Now is made possible by the Jennifer Wynne Reeves Trust; Isabella Hutchinson and Diego Gradowczyk; the Toby Devan Lewis Donor Advised Fund of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland; Fiona and Eric Rudin; Beth Rudin DeWoody and Firooz Zahedi; David Steinhardt; Lee and Louis Reeves; Blick Art Materials, LLC; FM Brush Company; Steve Shane; Dan Lebson and Tom Wilinsky; David Reed; Bernadette Ward and Ladd Forsline, Colorfin; Elena and Holden Stein; and anonymous donors.


B O A R D OF D I R E C T O R S

S TA FF

Co-Chairs

Laura Hoptman Executive Director

Andrea Crane

Olga Tetkowski Deputy Director

Amy Gold Joanna Berman Ahlberg Managing Editor Frances Beatty Adler

Noah Chasin Executive Editor

Dita Amory

Dan Gillespie Operations Manager

Brad Cloepfil

Claire Gilman Chief Curator

Stacey Goergen

Aimee Good Director of Education &

Steven Holl

Community Programs

Rhiannon Kubicka

Molly Gross Communications Director

Nancy Poses

Rosario GĂźiraldes Assistant Curator &

Eric Rudin

Open Sessions Curator

Jane Dresner Sadaka

Alison Hyland Assistant Development Director

David Salle

Isabella Kapur Curatorial Assistant

Joyce Siegel

Kara Nandin Bookstore Manager

Galia Meiri Stawski

Bruno Nouril Development Director

Barbara Toll

Nadia Parfait Visitor Services Associate

Waqas Wajahat

Kate Robinson Registrar

Isabel Stainow Wilcox

Tiffany Shi Visitor Services Associate Lisa Sigal Open Sessions Curator

Emeritus Michael Lynne George Negroponte Jeanne C. Thayer


E D WA R D H A L L A M T U C K P U B L I C AT I O N P R O G R A M

This is number 139 of the Drawing Papers, a series of publications documenting The Drawing Center’s exhibitions and public programs and providing a forum for the study of drawing. Noah Chasin Executive Editor Joanna Ahlberg Managing Editor Designed by AHL&CO / Peter J. Ahlberg This book is set in Adobe Garamond Pro and Berthold Akzidenz Grotesk. It was printed by Puritan Capital in Hollis, New Hampshire.

I S B N 9 7 8 - 0 - 9 4 2 3 24 - 4 6 - 6 Š 2 018 T he D rawing C enter


THE D R AWI N G CENTER

3 5 W OO S T E R S T R E E T | N E W YO R K , N Y 10 013 T 212 219 216 6 | F 8 8 8 . 3 8 0 . 3 3 6 2 | D R AW I N G C E N T E R . O R G


Essays by Claire Gilman and Matthew Weinstein

D R AW I N G PA P E R S 13 9

$20.00 US

ISBN 9 78 0 9 42 324 4 6 4 52000

9

780942

324464

Profile for The Drawing Center

Jennifer Wynne Reeves: All Right for Now  

The Drawing Center's Drawing Papers, Volume 139, features essays by Claire Gilman and Matthew Weinstein.

Jennifer Wynne Reeves: All Right for Now  

The Drawing Center's Drawing Papers, Volume 139, features essays by Claire Gilman and Matthew Weinstein.

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