Genesis Belanger

Artsy Editorial
Sep 16, 2019 6:16PM

Genesis Belanger in her New York studio by Alex John Beck for Artsy.

Genesis Belanger, Full Embrace, 2018. Photo by Pauline Shapiro. Courtesy of the artist and Perrotin.


Genesis Belanger charmed the New York art world in the fall of 2017 with her small-but-mighty show of otherworldly ceramic foodstuffs, cigarettes, and fingers at Mrs. Gallery. Her ceramics—with lush pastel hues, matte surfaces, trompe l’oeil aesthetics, and finely hewn details—transcend the typical clay-and-glaze constructions we expect from the medium.

Recently, these enticing sculptures earned the artist a presentation in the New Museum’s storefront window and representation by three esteemed galleries: Perrotin, Rodolphe Janssen, and François Ghebaly. Plus, she’ll have a solo show at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in 2020.

New Museum curator Margot Norton remarked on Belanger’s ability to “cull the uncanny from the everyday, while walking a striking balance between seduction and disquiet.” In a recent show with Emily Mae Smith at Perrotin’s Lower East Side gallery, a bouquet of flowers perched on a chaise lounge turned from lovely to eerie upon close inspection—three pairs of pure white fingers protruded from clusters of bubblegum-pink blossoms.

Genesis Belanger, Breakfast in Bed, 2019. Photo by Pauline Shapiro. Courtesy of the artist and Perrotin.

Genesis Belanger, One For Me and One For My Friend (detail), 2019. Photo by Pauline Shapiro. Courtesy of the artist and Francois Ghebaly, Los Angeles.


While tackling “pertinent subjects such as mass production, chemical dependency, and the absurdity of the patriarchy,” Norton noted, Belanger draws upon the art-historical traditions of Pop art, Surrealism, and 17th-century Dutch vanitas paintings. She also captivates us with nods to contemporary American culture—“particularly,” Norton added, “those that we consume to overcome daily stresses, yet also trap us in a liminal state, such as fast-food items, pill packets, liquor bottles, and cigarettes.”

Artsy Editorial