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Kelly Reemtsen Fix It


Kelly Reemtsen Fix It 21st November – 21st December 2018

Lyndsey Ingram 20 Bourdon Street London W1K 3PL T. +44 (0)20 7629 8849 E. info@lyndseyingram.com W. lyndseyingram.com


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Foreword Lyndsey Ingram

We are delighted to be presenting this

She has held these back for a meaningful

comprehensive group of prints and

exhibition of her prints and we are very

works on paper by Los Angeles artist

privileged to be that occasion. This is the

Kelly Reemtsen. The content of the

artist’s first show in the UK and we are

show includes almost ten years of the

pleased to be presenting such a thorough

artist’s output – from her early reduction

overview of her work.

woodcuts, a remarkable example of printmaking, to a group of recent pastels

This show is also particularly well timed.

and letterpress prints. It is rare to work

When we first started working with Kelly

with a contemporary artist who has so

several years ago, we never could have

much technical facility and enthusiastic

imagined that her first UK retrospective

commitment to graphic art. The wide

would come at such an auspicious

range of printmaking techniques included

moment. Many of her titles – Gender

in this show, all skillfully mastered and fully

Gap, Resister, Ground Breaking –

developed by Kelly, is truly remarkable.

demonstrate her strong commitment to the ongoing struggle for gender equality.

Most of her editions have long sold out

This message, always relevant, is now

and we are grateful to Kelly for letting us

even more so, as these issues are firmly

include what in many cases are the last

in the political spotlight. It seems a very

available impressions of various images.

poignant moment to be showing this

Detail left: Splitting Hairs, 2012

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work, that gracefully combines strength and beauty and reminds us that we can embody both. There are several people we are grateful to for helping make this exhibition possible, especially the David Klein Gallery, who have given us their unequivocal support in bringing Kelly’s work to the UK. This exhibition elegantly delivers both a masterclass in printmaking and an important message about the times we live in and the changes we are all striving for. Kelly’s images resonate both with the women who identify with them and the men who respect them. They are strong, they are beautiful, and they are all of us.

Detail right: Ground Breaking / We Are Better Than This, 2015 – 2018

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Resister Sister Miranda McMinn

A ladylike figure stands in a fancy party

with the punch of the “Workers Unite”

dress. It could be from the 1950s but it

posters of the Soviet era.

could also be right now. “The shape is the thing,” says the artist and printmaker Kelly

The titles of Reemtsen’s works – ones she

Reemtsen. “I want it to look really femi-

takes great pains and pleasure in creating

nine, with a cinched waist and bell skirt.

– are ripe with witty ambiguities: Splitting

When you put it on you feel very pretty.”

Hairs; Twister Sister; The Break Out; Gender Gap; Tighten Up. So is the intention to

The colours of the dress, too, are pleasing

question, to empower, or to threaten?

– hot pink polka dots, turquoise stripes,

and always a splash of orange. “Orange

“There is definitely a feminist agenda in

is my signature colour – it is in everything

my work. It speaks to my independent

that I do. It is a very happy colour,” contin-

spirit. Here I’m showing it by juxtaposing

ues Reemtsen brightly.

aggressive tools with a soft feminine form. Years ago I was looking at an old 1950s

In each image, however, the woman is

magazine and noticed a picture of a wom-

holding something. In one piece it’s a

an in an evening gown holding a garden

chainsaw. In others it’s an axe, a wrench,

hose, illustrating an article entitled ‘Should

bolt-cutters or shears. The prints mix the

women be able to water the lawn?’ It’s

prettiness of a Vogue fashion drawing

hard to believe they could even ask such

Detail left: Birthday Girl, 2015

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a question, but it set off a spark. I thought,

artist, Reemtsen chooses to present them

should a woman be able to chop down a

as an anonymous figure. “I want the female

tree, put shingles on a roof, drill a hole?

viewers to see themselves in the picture,’

That’s when I had the idea of showing

explains Reemtsen.”

women with tools.” The theme of the mechanical – demonstratAs Reemtsen sees it, the tools demon-

ed by the tools the subjects are carrying

strate that the woman is working and can

– is played out further in the medium that

do anything she wants. However, if others

Reemtsen uses. The fact that her method

impute more sinister undertones she’s

of printmaking is so intricate and technical,

fine with that too. “I feel the imagery is

with a lot of tools and equipment involved,

strong, but I don’t feel bad when someone

plays into the gender debate. There is a

finds the work threatening. It’s rare, but oc-

contrast between the girlish elegance of

casionally a man will say to me, ‘I feel like

the prints and how the works are made. In

she’s going to kill me’ and I say ‘no, she’s

printmaking, creativity exists within a very

working, she doesn’t know you exist’.”

tight set of parameters constructed by the technicality and mechanics of process.

All the women, drawn from life, are pic-

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tured from the shoulders down. Although

The purpose of early printmaking, as

the model in each work is a friend of the

explained by gallerist Lyndsey Ingram


whose Mayfair gallery specialises en-

category. I am putting pieces together

tirely in print works, was often to share a

and layering them and making sure they fit.”

message. It’s a fitting medium for Reemtsen’s urgent call to action. Yet Reemtsen,

Reemtsen’s work, moreover, mixes print-

originally a painter, came to printmaking

making methods, often including several

as a different way to make a mark and

in one work – woodcuts, screenprint, etch-

to create dramatically different surfaces.

ing. The greater the technical challenge,

“I use printmaking as a respite from the

the more Reemtsen embraces it. “I do

painting… it’s like hitting refresh where I

reductive woodcuts, a technique made

get different ideas for the body of work, for

famous by Picasso. This is done from a

colours, for positions, for new models. It’s

single piece of wood and from that one

a jumping-off platform for new ideas.”

piece of wood I get 13 colours. Starting with the first colour, I print each colour

“Printmaking is extremely technical so

in succession, usually from light to dark,

it shifts my brain in a different direction,

and after I print each colour I cut away (or

where all of a sudden I’m thinking about

reduce) the original surface to prepare for

math and precision. Most of printmaking is

the next colour.”

done in reverse so I’m working on a mirror image. I’m a person who enjoys puzzles

“I’m drawn to the risk because once a

and printmaking is definitely in the same

colour is printed you can’t go back. I love

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it because it scares me a little bit and I feel

Perhaps that is where the real satisfac-

like it’s the one thing that challenges me.

tion of Reemsten’s work lies - her can-

Painting gets me to a zen moment, printing

dy-coloured call to action represents a

gets me out of my comfort zone, gets me

battle against the bullying culture in which

thinking. I go to bed thinking about these

we are currently immersed, one where

projects and I wake up thinking about them.”

women get to wield the wrench.

The method fits the message. Until the

“Every day I go to my studio and I think

most recent US election, Reemtsen

I’m fighting back!” she declares.

was thinking of moving on from her theme.“After that, I felt it necessary to

Miranda McMinn has worked in women’s jour-

continue creating my body of work. I now

nalism for 25 years as deputy editor of Marie

see the women in my images as soldiers

Claire and Red, and is currently executive editor

for the resistance. Why do we still get

of Woman & Home. She has written for publica-

a jolt when we look at these pictures?

tions including The Times, Observer, Independ-

Why does it seem almost transgressive

ent, You magazine and Evening Standard.

to see a woman holding a power tool? For me, the most interesting thing about the work is that we still have to talk about these issues.”

Detail right: Reconnected, 2018

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Splitting Hairs Woodcut printed in colours, 2012. Signed in pencil and numbered from the edition of 10. Printed on Rives BFK 300 gsm paper by the artist at Venice Printmaking Studio, Venice, Italy and the artist’s studio, Los Angeles. Published by the artist. 114 × 114 cm

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You Wouldn’t Woodcut printed in colours, 2012. Signed in pencil and numbered from the edition of 10, with 1 artist’s proof. Printed on Rives BFK 300 gsm paper by the artist at Venice Printmaking Studio, Venice, Italy and the artist’s studio, Los Angeles. Published by the artist. 114 × 114 cm

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Birthday Girl Etching with screenprint and hand-colouring, 2015. Signed in pencil and numbered from the edition of 25, with 7 artist’s proofs. Printed on Rives BFK paper by Peter Pettengill at Wingate Studio, New Hampshire. Published by the artist. 91.4 × 91.4 cm

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Birthday Girl, Orange Etching with screenprint and hand-colouring, 2015. Signed in pencil and numbered from the edition of 10, with 3 artist’s proofs. Printed on Rives BFK paper by Peter Pettengill at Wingate Studio, New Hampshire. Published by the artist. 91.4 × 91.4 cm

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Ground Breaking Etching with screenprint and hand-colouring, 2015. Signed in pencil and numbered from the edition of 25, with 7 artist’s proofs. Printed on Rives BFK paper by Peter Pettengill at Wingate Studio, New Hampshire. Published by the artist. 91.4 × 91.4 cm

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Ground Breaking, Orange Etching with screenprint and hand-colouring, 2015. Signed in pencil and numbered from the edition of 10, with 3 artist’s proofs. Printed on Rives BFK paper by Peter Pettengill at Wingate Studio, New Hampshire. Published by the artist. 91.4 × 91.4 cm

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Twister Sister Etching with screenprint and hand-colouring, 2015. Signed in pencil and numbered from the edition of 25, with 7 artist’s proofs. Printed on Rives BFK paper by Peter Pettengill at Wingate Studio, New Hampshire. Published by the artist. 91.4 × 91.4 cm

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Twister Sister, Orange Etching with screenprint and hand-colouring, 2015. Signed in pencil and numbered from the edition of 10, with 3 artist’s proofs. Printed on Rives BFK paper by Peter Pettengill at Wingate Studio, New Hampshire. Published by the artist. 91.4 × 91.4 cm

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Swinger Screenprint in colours, 2015. Signed in pencil and numbered from the edition of 25, with 10 artist’s proofs. Printed by the artist. Published by the artist. 76.2 × 76.2 cm

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Striking Screenprint in colours, 2015. Signed in pencil and numbered from the edition of 25, with 10 artist’s proofs. Printed by the artist. Published by the artist. 76.2 × 76.2 cm

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Unplugged Screenprint in colours, 2015. Signed in pencil and numbered from the edition of 25, with 10 artist’s proofs. Printed by the artist. Published by the artist. 76.2 × 76.2 cm

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Trim Screenprint in colours, 2016. Signed in pencil and numbered from the edition of 25, with 10 artist’s proofs. Printed by the artist. Published by the artist. 76.2 × 76.2 cm

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Gender Gap Portfolio (p. 37 – 39) The complete set of 9 photogravure, aquatint and screenprints in colours, 2016. Each signed in pencil and numbered from the edition of 6, with 2 artist’s proofs. Printed by the artist. Published by the artist. Each sheet: 40.6 × 40.6 cm

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Gender Gap / Shears Photogravure, aquatint and screenprint in colours, 2016. Signed in pencil and numbered from the edition of 25, with 6 artist’s proofs. Printed by the artist. Published by the artist. 40.6 × 40.6 cm

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Gender Gap / Sledgehammer Photogravure, aquatint and screenprint in colours, 2016. Signed in pencil and numbered from the edition of 25, with 6 artist’s proofs. Printed by the artist. Published by the artist. 40.6 × 40.6 cm

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Gender Gap / Bolt Cutter Photogravure, aquatint and screenprint in colours, 2016. Signed in pencil and numbered from the edition of 25, with 6 artist’s proofs. Printed by the artist. Published by the artist. 40.6 × 40.6 cm

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Gender Gap / Chainsaw Photogravure, aquatint and screenprint in colours, 2016. Signed in pencil. One of 5 artist’s proofs. Printed by the artist. Published by the artist. 40.6 × 40.6 cm

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The Break Out Screenprint and woodcut printed in colours, 2017. Signed in pencil and numbered from the edition of 25, with 7 artist’s proofs. Printed on Somerset Satin 410gsm paper by Advanced Graphics, London. Published by the artist. 95.4 × 94 cm

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Tighten Up Screenprint and woodcut printed in colours, 2017. Signed in pencil and numbered from the edition of 25, with 7 artist’s proofs. Printed on Somerset Satin 410gsm paper by Advanced Graphics, London. Published by the artist. 92.7 × 91.4 cm

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Ground Breaking / We Are Better Than This Unique etching with screenprint and gouache, 2015-2018. Signed in pencil. Printed on Rives BFK paper by Peter Pettengill at Wingate Studio, New Hampshire. Published by the artist. 91.4 Ă— 91.4 cm

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Birthday Girl / What The Fuck Unique etching with screenprint and gouache, 2015-2018. Signed in pencil. Printed on Rives BFK paper by Peter Pettengill at Wingate Studio, New Hampshire. Published by the artist. 91.4 × 91.4 cm

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Twister Sister / I Have Had It Unique etching with screenprint and gouache, 2015-2018. Signed in pencil. Printed on Rives BFK paper by Peter Pettengill at Wingate Studio, New Hampshire. Published by the artist. 91.4 Ă— 91.4 cm

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Reconnected Pastel on paper, 2018. Signed in pencil. 66 Ă— 76.2 cm

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Strong Start Pastel on paper, 2018. Signed in pencil. 66 Ă— 76.2 cm

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Resister Pastel on paper, 2018. Signed in pencil. 50.8 Ă— 96.5 cm

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Solo Exhibitions 2018

Fix It, Lyndsey Ingram, London

Circa, Skidmore Contemporary Art,

Albertz Benda, New York NY

Santa Monica, CA

Galeri Oxholm, Copenhagen DK 2010

It’s My Party, Adler&Co, San Francisco, CA

2016

Over It, David Klein Gallery Detroit, MI

2015

Smashing, De Buck Gallery, New York, NY

2014

New Works, Lieven De Buck Gallery,

Francisco, CA

St Paul de Vance, France

Striving for Perfection, David Klein

Equal Opportunity David Klein Gallery,

Gallery, Birmingham MI

Birmingham MI

Recent Paintings, Campton Gallery,

I’m Not Falling For You, Skidmore Contemporary Art, Santa Monica, CA 2009

Recent Paintings, Caldwell Snyder, San

New York, NY 2013

America’s Sweetheart, De Buck Gallery, New York, NY

2007

Recent Paintings, Caldwell Snyder, San Francisco, CA

2012

Paper and Chalk, Skidmore Contemporary Art, Santa Monica, CA

2006

Process & Palette, Solo Show, de Soto, Los Angeles, CA

2011

Clean, Skidmore Contemporary Art,

Object Lessons, Two Person Show,

Santa Monica, CA

University Art Gallery, CSUDH,

New Paintings, David Klein Gallery,

Carson, CA

Birmingham, MI

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2005

Good Living, de Soto, Los Angeles, CA All Through the House, Metro Gallery Pasadena, CA Time Line, ONE Gallery, Palms Springs, CA

2003

Lifestyle, Gallery 825, Bergamot Station, Santa Monica, CA Three Decades of Design, Risk Art Press, West Hollywood, CA

2002

Dress, Metro Gallery, Pasadena, CA

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“I’m drawn to the risk because once a colour is printed you can’t go back. I love it because it scares me a little bit and I feel like it’s the one thing that challenges me. Painting gets me to a zen moment, printing gets me out of my comfort zone, gets me thinking. I go to bed thinking about these projects and I wake up thinking about them.” Kelly Reemtsen

Left: Artist in her studio, 2012

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Published by Lyndsey Ingram on the occasion of the exhibition: Kelly Reemtsen – Fix It, 21st November – 21st December, 2018 Images © 2018 Kelly Reemtsen Designed by Lucy Harbut Printed by Dayfold


Profile for Lyndsey Ingram

Kelly Reemtsen – Fix It  

We are delighted to be presenting this comprehensive group of prints and works on paper by Los Angeles artist Kelly Reemtsen. The content of...

Kelly Reemtsen – Fix It  

We are delighted to be presenting this comprehensive group of prints and works on paper by Los Angeles artist Kelly Reemtsen. The content of...