The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Sunday, August 18, 2019

Mitchell-Innes & Nash opens exhibition of works by Jay DeFeo
Installation view of Outrageous Fortune: Jay DeFeo and Surrealism at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, NY, 2018. Photo: Adam Reich. © 2018 The Jay DeFeo Foundation / Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York Courtesy of The Jay DeFeo Foundation and Mitchell-Innes & Nash, NY.

NEW YORK, NY.- Mitchell-Innes & Nash announces Outrageous Fortune: Jay DeFeo and Surrealism, on view at the Chelsea gallery at 534 West 26th Street from March 1 through April 7, 2018. Outrageous Fortune features over seventy key works by DeFeo spanning three decades, from 1955 to 1986. It is the gallery’s second solo exhibition of the artist’s work and runs concurrently with a major survey of her work, Jay DeFeo: The Ripple Effect, at Le Consortium in Dijon, France.

Focusing on elements of chance, play and the marvelous in DeFeo’s work, the exhibition brings together paintings, photographs, collages and works on paper to reveal how DeFeo’s art often aligns with Surrealist attitudes. DeFeo was especially fascinated by the anthropomorphic potential of mechanical objects, presenting a photographed vacuum cleaner or tripod as an almost alive creature.

Like the Dadaists and Surrealists, DeFeo was intrigued by what she called an “enigmatic figurative reference.” In her 1955 painting Landscape with Figure, the title defies the traditional reading of a vase of daisies as a still life and asserts its “bodily” presence. This use of symbolic emblems for the human figure is a recurring theme in her work, playing off the idiosyncrasies of the everyday.

In some works, such as White Knight, an acrylic and charcoal work on paper from 1977, the body is subtly implied through visual synecdoche. Here, the reference to a helmet suggests not simply a face, but the figure lying beneath, while also evoking some strange hybrid being. An abstract, delicate 1981 graphite drawing from the Minnie series 1981, takes on a veiled presence, bringing to mind an elusive, possibly concealed face.

DeFeo’s photo-based works are often more direct in their references to the body. For Traveling Portrait (Chance Landscape), a photo collage from 1973, she gathered dozens of carefully cut photographs of her teeth on a paperboard backing and allowed them to move on a wet adhesive into a random composition. In the strangeness of its imagery and its use of chance operations, this work seems clearly linked to Dada and Surrealist strategies—including the pun of the title.

In other photo collages, DeFeo appropriated imagery from Bruce Conner’s “Angel” series, specifically from an invitation to a 1975 exhibition of his work. In this series, DeFeo superimposed various cut photographs on Conner’s “Angels”—figures resembling marble caryatids—and, in doing so, conflated machine and body.

Throughout her career DeFeo’s interest in juxtaposing forms, intermixing traditional genres and experimenting with chance reveals a personal version of a Surrealist sensibility. Her chemigrams are perhaps the most salient example of this. Using chemicals to “paint” on photo-sensitive paper, she created a 1973 series titled Salvador Dalí’s Birthday Party, which she described as resembling “hand-painted dream photographs.”

The title of the exhibition, taken from Hamlet’s famous soliloquy, captures DeFeo’s openness to the vagaries of chance in her work. She once quoted the line “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” to describe accidents that befell her 1958 drawing The Eyes, now in the collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art. Unintended cracks and tearing in The Eyes became, in DeFeo’s words, “part of the piece, like the crack in Duchamp’s Glass.”

“Jay DeFeo utilized chance and frequently considered herself lucky when accident intervened in her work,” said Dana Miller, who contributed an essay to a fully illustrated catalogue that accompanies the exhibition. Ms. Miller curated Jay DeFeo: A Retrospective (2013) at the Whitney Museum of American Art. “The Surrealists viewed life as a succession of unpredictable shocks and provided a model for chancing the ridiculous. DeFeo took enormous chances throughout her career by changing media, shifting styles, and deviating beyond the usual bounds of scale, efficiency, practicality, or propriety.”

Today's News

March 12, 2018

Exhibition at the Rijksmuseum gives a glimpse into the informal life of the well-to-do

Yinka Shonibare MBE's new commission opens at the entrance to Central Park

Art dealer program brings over 100 artifacts back to tribes

Exploring another Leonardo mystery, Worcester Art Museum presents exhibition and new research on Italian panel paintings

Dutch sculptor Folkert de Jong joins Marc Straus

Exhibition at David Richard Gallery presents Leo Valledor's curvilinear and circular shapes

Mitchell-Innes & Nash opens exhibition of works by Jay DeFeo

First exhibition by Danish artist Per Kirkeby with Almine Rech Gallery opens in Paris

Exhibition of photographs from the dawn of time by Hiroshi Sugimoto opens at Fraenkel Gallery

Artemis Gallery presents art of ancient cultures in March 15 auction

New artist platform for the contemporary art community expands internationally

Hermès Crocodile Birkins, Chanel exotics expected to headline Heritage Auctions' Luxury Accessories Auction

Exhibition offers a reflexion on the power of object recycling

Two solo exhibitions featuring Stanton Hunter and Alison Ragguette open at Launch LA

Exhibition presents abstract paintings and mixed media works by twelve Taiwanese artists

'Drop in, play, learn': Zimbabwe music legend Tuku's open door to new talent

"Manu Parekh: 60 Years of Selected Works" opens at the National Gallery of Modern Art Mumbai

Barangaroo Delivery Authority unveils a bamboo grid installation, part sculpture, garden and sanctuary

Chinese sculptor Zhan Wang's "Floating Rock" arrives at Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe

Exhibition at Miyako Yoshinaga features thirty black-and-white gelatin silver prints by Hitoshi Fugo

Giant sculpture by KAWS unveiled in Doha

Private collection launches Heritage Auctions' Rare Books Sale to $2.1+ million

Andreas Emenius presents recent objects and paintings at SHIN Gallery

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Conservation reveals Wellington Collection work was painted by Titian's Workshop

2.- New dinosaur discovered after lying misidentified in university's vaults for over 30 years

3.- Unseen Texas Chainsaw Massacre outtakes and stills sold for a combined $26,880

4.- National gallery reveals conserved Italian altarpiece by Giovanni Martini da Udine

5.- London's Tate Modern evacuated after child falls, teen arrested

6.- Bavarian State Minister of the Arts restitutes nine works of art

7.- Boy thrown from London's Tate Modern is French tourist visiting UK

8.- Child thrown from London gallery has broken spine, legs and arm

9.- £10 million Turner masterpiece may leave British shores

10.- Tourists banned from sitting on Rome's Spanish Steps

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful