Sikkema Jenkins & Co

Amy Sillman: Transformer (…or, how many lightbulbs does it take to change a painting?)

Amy Sillman: Transformer (…or, how many lightbulbs does it take to change a painting?)

blue / rays by amy sillman

Amy Sillman

blue / rays, 2009

Thursday, April 15, 2010Saturday, May 15, 2010


New York, NY USA

opening reception: Thursday, April 15th 6 - 8pm

Sikkema Jenkins & Co is pleased to present an exhibition of new works by Amy Sillman titled Transformer (…or, how many lightbulbs does it take to change a painting?) on view from April 15 through May 15, 2010.

Sillman’s show features a range of new work across mediums, including large and mid-scale paintings, two different suites of drawings, and a new edition of her one-dollar ’zine “The O-G.” The show begins with a simple drawing of a lightbulb. The lightbulb transforms into a flashlight, which in turn becomes a medium for self-reflexive investigation. The lightbulb is thus a pivotal image for illumination, reflection, transformation, the comic, and obsolescence – a thematic stand-in for the conditions of painting itself.

In all of her new work, Sillman continues to undertake a fullscale painterly negotiation between forms of corporeality and processes of thought. Sillman is known for a rigorous, processbased language that is realized through additive/subtractive drawing procedures and a vivid color sense. She continues to work formally within the frame while simultaneously perforating painting with issues belonging to discourses adjacent to painting, such as philosophy, feminism, performativity, and humor; the latter are incorporated in part through a small-scale D.I.Y. 'zine, “The O-G,” made especially for the show. For the past year, Sillman has included a new edition of this ’zine with every new group of paintings she makes; it is a form that allows her paintings to speak, while comically subverting the solemnity that (intentionally or unintentionally) can enshroud shows of abstract or semi-abstract painting.

Having worked for several years with the dual procedures of abstraction and portraiture, Sillman is now finding the figure again within an abstract process. In these paintings, figures return not as representations per se, but as body fragments and suggestive gestures that are located in an anxious, anti-heroic formalism where figuration, color and form intersect in logical and yet absurd complexes.

Amy Sillman has exhibited extensively throughout the US and Europe. Her work is in numerous public collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.