Minus Space is pleased to present the solo exhibition Ken Weathersby: Dream Paintings. This is the Montclair, New Jersey-based artist’s second solo exhibition at the gallery and it will present a suite of recent paintings that merge abstraction with texts transcribed from the artist’s dreams.
For two decades, Ken Weathersby has produced deeply-inquisitive abstract paintings, reliefs, and sculpture that play with and against established formal conventions and expectations. For his new Dream Paintings, he works within a structured set of aesthetic variables, including size, orientation, materials, and strategy, which according to the artist, parallels our own repetitive sleep / dream / wake circadian rhythms. Each painting in the series combines an abstract or decorative pattern with an inset window publishing a single handwritten narrative in ink on paper recounting a dream the artist recalled having. The dream texts are generally elusive, neither significant or banal, but ambiguous and possibly inert, leaving one to wonder what the dreams of the artist, or our own for that matter, might signify, if anything.
Weathersby’s recent painting entitled 293 (2018) illustrated above, for example, combines an undulating decorative pattern in blush pinks, reds, and oranges interrupted by a cut-out window at bottom right with the following scripted words in black ink on off-white paper: “A colleague recited her boring resume but shocked me when she mentioned her first job. As a child she had worked with a famous and notorious radical film collective. For her it was “point zero”. She had stood in a projection room for no pay, loading reels of film. I drew a horizontal landscape of figures on smooth, heavy paper, using colored ink. The tableau included a woman in a red dress. She appeared twice, side by side but the two images were reflections of one another – left and right reversed. I drew the angular folds of her dress using cooler and warmer reds. A pinpoint highlight, a tiny white circle surrounded by yellow, punctuated the drawing as the brightest moment and was repeated.”
About his new Dream Paintings, Weathersby states, “Dream space may be infected by conscious and mediated aspects, but still remains outside of our commodified, manipulated, externalized, online social unconscious, outside of the grasp of control.” He continues, “Dreams are just as likely banal as fantastic or revealing. Either way, I record them as free content. These narratives interrupt an unfolding series of abstract paintings that are themselves residues of the past, plus impulse, plus accident.”
Ken Weathersby (b. 1963 Gulfport, Mississippi; lives Montclair, New Jersey) has exhibited his work nationally and internationally for the past two decades. Here at the gallery, Weathersby mounted the well-received solo exhibition Time After Time in 2017 and took part in our group survey exhibition Untitled (Summer) in 2019. He has also mounted notable solo exhibitions at Pierogi Gallery (New York, NY), One River Gallery (Englewood, NJ), NIAD Art Center Gallery (Richmond, CA), Some Walls (Oakland, CA), and John Cotton Dana Gallery at Rutgers University (Newark, NJ).
Weathersby’s work has been included in group exhibitions at the National Academy of Art Museum (New York), 57w57Arts (New York), Mixed Greens (New York), Honey Ramka (Brooklyn), Odetta Gallery (Brooklyn), Parallel Art Space (Ridgewood, NY), Barbara Walters Gallery at Sarah Lawrence College (Bronxville, NY), Aljira Art Center (Newark, NJ), the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Gallery (Morristown, NJ), Visual Art Center of New Jersey (Summit, NJ), Seven (Miami, FL), Toomey Tourell (San Francisco, CA), and IS Projects (Leiden, Netherlands), among many others.
Weathersby has received numerous awards and residencies, most recently the Individual Artist Painting Fellowship by the Mid-Atlantic Arts Council/NJSCA (2016). His work has been written about in Hyperallergic, Huffington Post, Brooklyn Magazine, New American Paintings blog, Painter’s Bread, and elsewhere. Weathersby holds an MFA in Painting from Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI, and a BFA in Painting and Drawing from University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS.