Contemporary Art Exhibition at the Worcester Art Museum to Highlight Work of Innovative Painter Jennifer Reeves

WORCESTER, MASS., MARCH 20, 2001 - The Worcester Art Museum's renewed focus on introducing the region to innovative and challenging contemporary art will bring the work of critically acclaimed painter Jennifer Reeves to the Museum this spring. Comprised of 15 pieces produced over the last three years, the exhibition - the artist's first museum solo show-will open April 28 and run through August 5.

Reeves is a leading member of a younger generation of artists who are committed to revising modernist abstraction. In her paintings, she consciously refers to, sometimes critiques, and regularly reworks the conventions of Abstract Expressionist, Color Field and Minimalist Painting. “I have followed Reeves' paintings since 1998,” states Susan Stoops, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Museum, “ and have found her voice to be consistently challenging and uniquely resistant to any definition. Reeves' effective layering of one kind of visual vocabulary-spontaneous, gestural abstraction-over another-calculated, representational narrative-has yielded what I consider to be a unique and provocative painting language. Hers is a terrain in which elements of abstraction and representation comfortably co-exist yet are not necessarily reconciled.” Reeves' personal vocabulary, influenced by the Michigan environment of her childhood, includes familiar elements such as barns, grassy plans and big skies. Along with these icons, she has developed a lexicon of abstract forms-rainbow stacks of flat color, snakes of coiled pigment, stalks of rectangular stokes, pools of swirling paint.

Beginning with her New York solo debut in 1997, Jennifer Reeves has earned a considerable degree of critical attention and collection activity, with praise from Irving Spandler, Donald Kuspit and Ken Johnson among others in publications including Art in America, The New York Times, The New York Observer, Arts Magazine, Artforum, Flash Art and The Village Voice. During the past decade, she has had solo projects in Rome, Geneva and Paris, in addition to New York.

Jennifer Reeves lives and work in rural Callicoon, New York. She was born in 1963 in Royal Oak, Michigan in 1963 and received a BA from Principia College in Elsah, Illinois in 1986. Reeves is represented in New York by Max Protetch. On Thursday, May 3 from 6-8PM, the Museum will hold a reception for Jennifer Reeves and Denise Marika, a leader in the field of video sculpture whose work will be featured in the Wall at WAM series, April 5-June 3. Reeves will give a lecture about the evolution of her work on Thursday, July 26 at 7PM.

This exhibition is supported by the Don and Mary Melville Contemporary Art Fund.

Museum Background

Opened to the public in 1898, the Worcester Art Museum is the second largest art museum in New England. Its exceptional 35,000-piece collection of paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, photography, prints and drawings is displayed in 36 galleries and spans 5,000 years of art and culture, ranging from Egyptian antiquities and Roman mosaics to Impressionist paintings and contemporary art. Throughout its first century, the Worcester Art Museum proved itself a pioneer: the first American museum to purchase work by Claude Monet (1910) and Paul Gauguin (1921); the first museum to bring a medieval building to America (1927); a sponsor of the first major excavation at Antioch, one of the four great cities of ancient Rome (1932); the first museum to create an Art All-State program for high school artists (1987); the originator of the first exhibition of Dutch master Judith Leyster (1993); and the first museum to focus its contemporary art programs on art of the last 10 years (1998). The Museum's hours are: Wednesday through Sunday, 11am-5pm, and Saturday 10am-5pm. Admission: FREE for members; Non-members: $8 Adults; $6 Seniors and full-time college students with current ID; FREE for youth 17 and under; FREE for everyone Saturday mornings 10am-noon sponsored by The TJX Companies and Massachusetts Electric Company. For more information, call (508) 799-4406 or visit the Museum at 55 Salisbury Street in Worcester.