Fork in the Road features recent paintings depicting flooded towns, distorted campgrounds, logged forests, and laboriously painted blurry images of trees. Unnatural colors, subtle patterns, and unexplained voids give the scenes a surreal sensibility. Human-made objects such as tents, telephone wires, decrepit vehicles, fences, or ropes make subtle appearances and act as metaphors for interpersonal relationships and psychological states. Our contentious attempt to control nature is suggested by these objects, but with little to no portrayal of figures, one is left to wonder what has happened to the human race. The environments appear simultaneously celebratory and post-apocalyptic, highlighting Hitchings’ interest in opposition, indulgence, and rationality. The exhibition title refers to our drive for adventure but inescapable need to make decisions based on reason.

Proto Gallery is proud to announce our first exhibition of 2018, and the first solo exhibition at the gallery by Jen Hitchings.

Jen Hitchings investigates the significance of communication, camaraderie, perception, and memory in contemporary American culture, using painted images of places and events where people gather and interact. In 2017, her work appeared at Proto Gallery in the We Lost Our Tails group exhibition (curated by MEN Gallery, LES NYC) as well as in group exhibitions at The Wassaic Project, Geoffrey Young, Pierogi, and 86 Orchard Street, and several of her paintings were recently installed at Newark Liberty Airport. She also presented a large outdoor mural on the facade of Ideal Glass in New York City in summer 2017. She is a co-director at Transmitter in Brooklyn.