Dawn Clements: Tables And Pills And Things


155 Suffolk St, New York

April 1 – May 7, 2017

We are delighted to present an exhibition of recent works on paper by Dawn Clements. This will be Clements’ seventh one-person exhibition at Pierogi. Clements captures alternately quotidian and filmic scenes of fragmented tableaus and narratives, perspectival disruptions, and the passage of time by painting her immediate surroundings and architectural interiors from films. Objects around her become landscapes to traverse: In “Three Tables In Rome” (248 inches long) a series of three contiguous tabletops are covered with objects ranging from plants, fruits, empty pill blister packs, to a computer screen opening up onto a scene from a black and white film. Clements embraces the physicality of paper. Her process of gluing, folding, and cutting ultimately distresses the paper, giving the works a sculptural quality. This, along with her use of scale, endows each drawing with a heft and depth of feeling that is remarkable.

In addition to “Three Tables In Rome,” this exhibition will include several other large-scale works made during residencies at The American Academy in Rome, The MacDowell Colony, and Civitella Ranieri, when Clements spent time away from her home and studio. Two other tabletop works will be on view (“Table (MacDowell)” and “Table (Civitella Ranieri)”) as well as other still lifes and “Anna’s (L’angelo bianco, 1955),” a black and white film interior drawn from the film playing on the tabletop computer screen.

“I explore intersections of where the objective and subjective; truth and fiction; rational and emotive meet. In some works I paint/draw a continuous space that passes from inside the studio and out into the landscape. Playing with processes involving interruption, cuts, skips, and extensions, I work to see how static images might express time passage through gradual and abrupt shifts in perspective, light, palette, mark, and gesture.” (Clements, 2017)

“Clements draws directly from objects or images; she never invents elements to complete a picture. Her dedication to working from images…often results in gaps or omissions and a flattening of space and time. The result is an image that appears seamless but is in fact uncannily distorted—a constructed portrait of a space, both physical and psychological.” (Whitney Museum) She does not necessarily intend her drawings to become panoramic in scale. She begins with small pieces of paper and paints in watercolor or black ink, or draws in ballpoint pen, a slice of what she sees. Sometimes these works seem incomplete, so she glues another section of paper to the drawing and continues. This can go on for weeks or months, resulting in drawings ranging in size from two to thirty feet long.