Jenny Monick practices painting with an idiosyncratic set of instructions, or a series of limitations she gives to herself. In a general sense, her work wonders what the frame of a painting can contain, and how it can be left open and undetermined. She creates porous boundaries where what is inside the frame of painting is never entirely cut off from what is removed. For this, Monick explores the notion of the grid and looks to act on it, to insert flaws into it, or, in her words, to use “wrong math” to invent her own alignments. By combining the essential elements of painting—stretchers, canvas, paint, color, brushstroke—the artist looks for informative accidents that occur along the way.
While studying anthropology as an undergraduate, Monick learned to observe and be sensitive to other people, objects, and the world around us. Recognizing her role as observer made her part of who and what she observed. Her fieldwork in Asia led to an interest in Taoism, a spiritual tradition anchored by the paradox of Wu wei, or action without action. As an artist, she carries this belief in essential simplicity and effortlessness and allows her organic and spontaneous experience with making work to be guided by a natural flow. Her project is to contain that sense of emptiness and have a painting's inside frame its own outside.
For Kiria Koula, Monick presents a series of existing small-scale oil paintings rarely shown before, alongside a body of new works using enamel on raw linen and on canvas covered by numerous layers of previously “failed” paintings.
Jenny Monick (b. 1966, Minneapolis, MN) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
Monick has widely exhibited in national and international galleries and non-profit institutions such as Greene Naftali, New York; Gallery Lelong, New York; White Columns, New York; Art:Concept, Paris; The Drawing Center, New York; The Pineapple, Malmö, Sweden; The Aldrich Museum, Ridgefield, CT; Kent Gallery, New York; First New York Gallery, New York; D’Amelio Terras Gallery, New York; Reserve Ames, Los Angeles, CA; among others. Her work has been featured in Art in America, Art on Paper, Review, and has been reviewed on several occasions by The New York Times.