By a ThreadPaige Beeber and Jessica Willittes
June 24 - July 23, 2021
Thierry Goldberg is pleased to present By a Thread, an exhibition of works by Paige Beeber and Jessica Willittes. The exhibition will be on view from June 24th to July 23rd, 2021.
Paige Beeber and Jessica Willittes take a distinctly topographical approach to each of their artistic practices. Incorporating craft, weaving, and textiles in their own respective ways, the artists create paintings that shift and grow like living organisms or active currents. Meditative and meticulous in some areas and explosive and tumultuous in others, Beeber’s and Willittes’ works respond to the rhythmic movements of history and time. Things fall apart and come back together, over and over again.
Paige Beeber’s paintings are teeming with energy. Each work emerges from an intuitive process of layering, whereby patterns and colors interrupt, grow over, and peek out from under one another. The result is an illusion of depth that reflects Beeber’s desire to play with the viewer’s perspective. Through this accumulative approach, the artist brings an element of time and decay into her works, like wallpaper peeling away to reveal the generations of paint that lie beneath it.
Beeber’s latest body of work signals a change in tempo. Over the course of the pandemic, the artist began to refine the repetitive dashes or “stitches” that now characterize much of her work. In Pompier (2021) and Manifeste Pompier (2021), this stitchwork appears in dense and impenetrable patches, sprawling across large portions of the canvas; while in Strange Milk (2021) and Arbez (2021), the stitches weave over and through more gestural outbursts of color. Beeber’s works thus feel as though they are cut and sewn as much as they are painted. They not only harken to methods of collage, but they pay homage to the artist’s roots; to the lineages of making and craft that have been lost along the way.
Jessica Willittes’s practice is one of perpetual destruction and renewal. The artist is constantly cannibalizing her work, cutting up and disassembling the materials only to piece them back together again. Willittes paints directly onto found carpets and rugs, drawn to their tactile nature as well as the trodden patterns and histories that they bear. The higher pile carpets require Willittes to be more deliberate with her brushstrokes, slowing her down as she digs paint into their tough and resistant fibers. This process gives Willittes’ paintings a textured and sculptural quality, like the mossy layers of a forest floor or a crusty and congealed tapestry washed ashore.
For the paintings presented in By a Thread, Willittes has drawn inspiration from the work of Richard Dadd, an English painter of the Victorian era. Fantastical and dreamlike, Dadd’s masterpiece, The Fairy Feller’s Master-Stroke (1855-64), depicts multiple scenes at once. The painting confuses the viewer’s perception of depth, as if the scenes were apparitions on the stones of a cobbled wall. We find this fragmentation in Willittes’ work as well. In contrast to the precision of Beeber’s stitch marks, Willittes’ paintings are wounded and flesh-like. A gaping hole lies at the heart of Deep Dendo I (2021) and Deep Dendo II (2021), flayed open and mended with smaller patches and webs hanging on by a thread. Fusing images from Dadd’s masterpiece with subcultural references and punk aesthetics, Willittes’s paintings appear frantically sewn together, as though the artist is attempting to salvage something that has been violently torn apart.
Paige Beeber (b. 1993, Syosset, NY) lives and works in New York City. She holds a BFA from Alfred University. Beeber has had solo exhibitions at Freight + Volume Gallery, New York, NY; Arts+Leisure, New York, NY; and Sweet Lorraine Gallery, Brooklyn, NY. She has participated in recent group exhibitions at Ideal Glass Studios, New York, NY; 68 Jay Street, Brooklyn, NY; Interboro Tigerforce, Ridgewood, NY; Soulland, Copenhagen, Denmark; Meeting House Air, Troy, NY; and 490 Atlantic Gallery, Brooklyn, NY. This is Beeber’s first exhibition at Thierry Goldberg Gallery.
Jessica Willittes (b. 1989, Tempe, AZ) lives and works in New York City. She holds a BFA in Printmaking from Arizona State University, a Certificate in Painting from Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and she is currently pursuing an MFA at Hunter College. Willittes has participated in group exhibitions at Automat Gallery, Philadelphia, PA; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Museum, Philadelphia, PA; and Great Far Beyond, Philadelphia, PA. This is Willittes’ first exhibition at Thierry Goldberg Gallery.
For more information, please call or email the gallery at + 1. 212.228.7569 or email@example.com.